On February 10, 16 Langone students came together and participated in Cycle for Survival, an event that raises money to beat rare cancers. The idea of forming a Stern team first originated when two Langone students, Maggie Cheung and Karon Walsh who formed the Stern team, came up with the idea while discussing their passion for spinning.
“We were so excited when we first saw the event announcement on Equinox’s website in October,” Cheung said. “We thought that forming a Stern team would be a great opportunity to meet other students who enjoy fitness and fundraising. We thought that with corporate matches and the support of the faculty and the student body, a $5,000 goal would be an ambitious yet, attainable goal.”
This year marked Walsh’s third year participating in Cycle for Survival, but the first time she participated with Stern classmates. “Cycle for Survival is a very personal event for me because I have a loved one who was treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering and lost his battle to a rare cancer,” Walsh said. “Fundraising and participating in the event with the support of the Stern community was inspiring. We are lucky to be surrounded by fellow classmates at Stern who are looking to do good and make a difference!”
With the help of the Langone Student Government marketing team, Walsh and Cheung recruited 14 riders and started reaching out to friends, faculty, coworkers and family members to fundraise. Throughout the months, they spoke to people who were directly and indirectly impacted by rare cancer and came to the realization that “this isn’t just a fundraising event, it’s a movement.” According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center, 50 percent of people with cancer have rare cancer, yet research is largely underfunded. These include cancers people generally know of, including: leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid, ovarian, brain, pancreatic and pediatric cancers.
The riders’ personal reasons to join the battle brought out emotions and authenticity that ultimately bonded the team on a personal level. “We all had a reason for being there: a friend, a family member, a colleague… we all knew someone impacted by cancer [and] we all had a story to share,” said Stern participant Rebecca Goldberg. “I have a laundry list of people affected by cancer. I rode for each one of them. Cycle for Survival will move you. If you have not done it, I highly recommend it. Sweating alongside other passionate people, who are focused on one goal, is exhilarating. Between the sweat and the tears, it’s hard not to walk out feeling a little different.”
Goldberg further went on to say: “Cycle for Survival is an amazing day. Riding with Stern this year was particularly special. Coming together with a diverse group of students who all were committed to a common cause gave us an instant bond. The only question left after the day was over was, ‘How much more can we raise next year?’”
As of February 15, the team proudly exceeded its initial $5,000 goal and raised $6,865 in total. In addition to thanking everyone for their support, the team extends a special “thank you” to Professor Scott Galloway and Dean Rangarajan Sundaram for their generous contribution.
The team is looking forward to next year’s Cycle for Survival event, rallying the Stern community for a second year and targeting an even larger fundraising goal to make an impact on rare cancer research.
It’s not too late to donate, the team’s 2019 fundraiser is still accepting contributions. Together, we can beat rare cancers!
Well done, Stern team riders!