Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cycle for Survival Recap: 10 Reasons You Need to be There in 2016

“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.” – Jim Valvano

Sunday, March 8th was the final Cycle for Survival ride for 2015 and it was a huge success!  Team MPower for the Cure was led by the beautiful and empowering Marie Jasmine, who not only captained our team, but also did an amazing job as one of the four instructors at 5th Avenue this Sunday afternoon.  April 1st marks the end of fundraising for this year.  Team MPower for the Cure raised a total of $6, 866.  The grand total for Cycle for Survival 2015 was $25,048,687- all going to research and clinical trials for rare cancer.  To those of you that donated on my behalf I can't begin to tell you how meaningful your donations are- I was ecstatic to surpass my $500 fundraising goal.
The amazing women of MPower for the Cure
For those of you who don't know, Cycle for Survival is a 4 hour cycling event held at Equinox clubs throughout the nation to raise money for rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center right here in New York City.  The event was started by Jennifer Goodman while she was undergoing to treatment for a sarcoma at Sloan Kettering.  Jennifer loved cycling and continued to go to spin classes while undergoing chemotherapy.  She has said that she felt like every hill she faced in the cycling studio was representative of her battle with cancer and she would leave feeling emotionally refreshed.  This event combines the rejuvenating benefits of fitness with the supportive team necessary for beating cancer all while raising money and awareness about rare cancers.  And now...
10 Reasons You Need to Be at Cycle for Survival in 2016

1. 50% of cancers are rare cancers: The NIH defines a rare cancer as one with a prevalence of fewer than 200,000 cases per year, but when you put all the rare cancers together it accounts for half the cancer diagnoses per year.  However, there is significantly less foundering for these cancers than for other more prevalent forms of cancer.  There is still a lot more work to be done.

2. It's a great workout!  Sure you are only on the bike for 30-60 minutes depending on how big your team is, but the rest of the 4 hours you are on your feet cheering and supporting your other teammates and the other teams.  Believe me when I say I woke up more sore than I have been in ages Monday morning!

3. Teams! You get to fundraise and ride together as a team, and part of the fun is coming up with an awesome team name.  My favorites for this year were "These Cells Ain't Loyal" and "You can't Spin with Us."

4. Photo Booth Fun: Throughout the event they had a photo booth where you could not only take fun pictures, but write signs to honor and thank loved ones.

5. Swag: Bring it back to the college days where you would do anything for a free t-shirt and some sunglasses (I'm assuming it wasn't just a Miami thing that all the orgs on campus gave out sunglasses...).  Everyone gets a Cycle for Survival t-shirt and sunglasses.  Each team designs and wears their own t-shirt and everyone brings fun wigs, hats, and tattoos to wear.  One of the survivors was there with her husband, an adorable old man wearing an orange top hat and green bow tie.  

6. The Speeches: At the end of each hour they take a break to switch riders and give the instructors a break.  During this time they invite survivors, caregivers, and researchers up to speak about their experiences so you can hear firsthand what your money is going towards.  Throughout this month I have thought back to their words and continue to be inspired.

7. Spend time with your friends: CeCe and I met as trainers at Equinox and at the time were lucky enough to be able to workout together almost every day.  Now we are both busy working multiple jobs and rarely get to spend time together let alone workout together.  Fundraising together was a great opportunity to spend time together doing one of our favorite things!

8. Make new friends: There were also 6 people on my team that I had never met, but by the end of months of fundraising and of course a 4 hour event of nonstop moving they were no longer strangers, but good friends.  We've all been touched by cancer in one way or another and are united in the fight against it.

9. Your Person: In addition to the photo booth there are several other boards for you to honor the one you are fighting for.  Throughout the event the instructors will remind you to think about the person or people that brought you to Cycle for Survival and use that motivation to pull through when you might be feeling tired and want to take a break.  

10. $25+ million: That's the number we need to beat in 2016 so we need you!
See you in 2016!

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