Posts Tagged Sloan-Kettering

I Cycled For The Survival Of People With Rare Cancers

at the end of four hours for Evan, one for me and my son

Ira and Evan during their rides

Well I did it. I spun for an hour on February 13th. First time ever that long and in a group. There were 125 bikes at my location, 450 bikes and 800 teams in all five locations. Helluva workout. The huffing and puffing and leg strain was much greater than any of the tennis or squash I do. A friend saw me sweating and was concerned that I was overdoing it and should take it easier. I’d never pedaled before “out of the saddle,” standing up, to loud music and hundreds of people egging me on by their own efforts…I wanted to keep up and move to the group rhythm. I’d planned to just pedal gently, but seated. Forget it. I was cycling for survival.

Definitely in the zone. Spaced out. Mindless. And zinging along. A couple of weeks earlier in a Boston hotel gym, I’d tried spinning on my own . Couldn’t get the seat and handlebars adjusted satisfactorily and was in agony. My butt was screaming from the pain. I was told to buy special padded shorts, but never did, so I brought a small blanket and padded seat. But I was up in the air so much I barely needed it.

How did my son-in-law, Evan, do it for four consecutive hours??!!! He is an animal, an ox, a lion. One of just 40 extreme cyclists out of 4000 participating. I was thrilled when the hour was up. I’d made it, but also sad that the experience was over. A real high. And this charity event raised almost as much this year as in the previous four years. The overall total is now greater than $8 million.

Our team goal was $15,000, way up from last year’s $3000, when only Evan cycled. This year Evan raised almost $17,000. My individual goal was $1000, and will add up to more than $2000 by April 1st, when the fund raising is officially over. All for a good cause. Rare cancer research. Yet add up all the rare cancers in America, and the total number of cases is equal to the major cancers that get almost all the corporate research dollars.

she started it all

This event was started by a woman, Jennifer Goodman Linn, who developed cancer that is a rare cancer and that minimal research is being done on. So she began spinning, because it felt good. Definitely shows you what a difference one person can make.

For more details, check out this earlier story . And go to this site if you want to donate too.

And here are some of the poignant comments from the Cycle for Survival Facebook page.

Today I rode all 4 hours at my first Cycle for Survival! Thank you for your putting together such an amazing event. Thanks to all who supported me and the generous donations to this great cause! I rode in the event in honor of those who have beat cancer, in memory of those who have not and in support of those who are fighting.

My team cycled last weekend in Chicago and we had an amazing time!! I’ve been battling leiomyosarcoma since 2006 and I can’t even begin to describe my emotions I experienced on Saturday! To see so many people pull together and fight for me and the many other patients out there that have a rare cancer leaves me in tears… and speechless! Thank you to all of those who cycled in Chicago and thank you to all of you who are cycling in New York this weekend!! You are doing such an amazing thing and it means the world to all of us fighting cancer!!! Go New York!!!! And have a blast!!

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Join Our Cycle For Survival To Support Rare-Cancer Research

Evan rides for research, a straight four hours non-stop—1/31/10

Today I will be one of more than 4000 riders (on 850+ “teams”) who pedal 500+ stationary bicycles for 30 minutes to 4 hours near Grand Central in Manhattan. Other people in Chicago and Long Island will also be cycling away this weekend and the previous weekend to music, speed and terrain cues from the spinning instructor, and the encouraging shouts of hundreds of friends and family members. It’s a very thrilling ride.

The annual Sloan Kettering “Cycle for Survival” raises money for research of rare cancers, which are those with less than 40,000 reported cases in America in one year. Most of the money raised through other programs goes for the common cancers, like lung, breast and prostate. Over the last four years, the annual Cycle for Survival events have raised over $4.5 million for experimental research, and some of that has been very relevant to my family.

My son-in-law, Evan, who just became a father on New Year’s Day has been fighting a rare cancer since 2007. In fact there are only 10 cases in all the literature of people who have his exclusive, and intensely serious, illness. The experimental drugs and treatments coming out of the Sloan-Kettering research have kept him alive and also strong enough to ride his bike in the streets, when there is no snow or rain. Last year he was one of just 25 riders (out of 2500) who rode non-stop for the whole four hours.

If you would like to help support this event, a donation of any amount—no matter how small—would be greatly appreciated and help treat the rare cancers, which include cervical, stomach, brain and all pediatric cancers. Just go to this Cycle for Survival link.

And if you are in the New York or Chicago areas and want to actually cheer us on and experience the excitement of the event, contact me at for more details. We’d love to have you shouting along…

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