Livingston Cancer Fighter’s Fundraiser Marches Forward

By Evan Wechman

 

Jennifer Goodman Linn who graduated Livingston High School and had the whole world in front of her passed away at the young age of 40 in 2011.  Though her life was short, it was inspiring, fearless, and a motivating force to those who suffer from a rare cancer to keep fighting.  Goodman Linn battled a rare cancer, Sarcoma, which eventually took her life, but not before inspiring hundreds of thousands of cancer victims and their families across New Jersey, the United States, and even internationally to not lose hope.

 

This February and March, Cycle for Survival, the organization which Goodman Lin and her husband helped found will be hosting indoor stationary cycling events throughout the country at participating Equinox clubs to raise money for critical research.  These funds will go directly to Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City for rare cancer research and clinical trials at this worldwide leading hospital.

 

Since 2007, over 340 million has been raised to help people who are fighting rare cancers.  However, the impact that Goodman Linn started encompasses a whole lot more and is still felt today.

According to her husband Dave Linn, “after her diagnosis Jenn and I realized fear wouldn’t help us.  This realization provided the foundation for Jen to inspire thousands of people.  She began to see it as her purpose to help people put their fears to the side and live their best lives.”

Though Goodman Linn was diagnosed in 2003 she never stopped fighting.  She was cycling at her nearby Equinox club in Manhattan as early as 7a.m., while undergoing chemotherapy.  This helped her and her husband decide that this activity was tailor made for funding research since most people can cycle for at least a little bit.

“The atmosphere at a Cycle for Survival event is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  In many ways, it’s Jen’s personality brought to life,” say’s her husband Linn.  “It’s a huge dance-party on bikes, and you can actually feel the hope and progress in the room.  Many patients tell me that attending a Cycle for Survival ride was the very first time since receiving their cancer diagnosis that they didn’t feel alone.”

The couple who met while pursuing their MBA’s at the Harvard Business School, initially thought about setting up a large organization with full-time employees and a large office space, but this was not truly what they wanted, which was to help others in the same predicament. As a result, they turned to Memorial Sloan Kettering who agreed to run Cycle for Survival where 100% of every dollar raised goes towards research, rather than administrative costs.

Even today, Goodman Linn’s friends from Livingston High School as well as her parents Sandy and Len Goodman who still reside there work tirelessly together to gather more cyclists to participate which results in more research, and of course, more hope.

Goodman Linn once said “I will be a role model to others, demonstrating that without fear, anything is possible.”

However, the ripple effect which has continued long after her death is unimaginable.  Goodman Linn used her business skills she learned at Harvard to work for many great companies such as Ann Taylor and Nickelodeon, but this inspiring event represents her passion and is at the forefront of all the people she touched.

According to her husband Linn, “Jen always said even if it was too late to help her, we need to do everything possible to help the millions of rare cancer patients.  That’s exactly what we’re doing and I hope we would all be making her proud.”

 

To find out more or to volunteer please visit The Movement to Beat Rare Cancers | Cycle for Survival

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