Last Valentine’s Day weekend, teachers in Livingston schools showed their students that kindness counts more than flowers and chocolates. In a lesson on empathy, they literally put themselves in the shoes of others, or in this case, the sneakers of Jennifer Goodman Linn, the LHS graduate who has raised millions of dollars to help doctors find cures for rare cancers.
In living with cancer, Jen inspired thousands to join her quest to put a positive spin on treatments. She turned adversity into strength and opportunity to form the Cycle for Survival fundraiser, an event that has raised more than $9 million at spinning events in major cities, and suburban Livingston, New Jersey, her hometown.
The outpouring of support “is so bittersweet, so beautiful,” Sandy Goodman observed at the event in Livingston.
Her daughter Jen survived sarcoma six times. That translates into seven distinct courses of chemotherapy (some lasting as long as 16 months), five surgeries, and countless days spent focusing on recovery. While praying for one more miracle, Jen died this past week, July 20. She was 40.
Jennifer Goodman Linn inspired thousands of people to help her in her efforts to support research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. (You can see Jen's story here). Rare cancers are far more prevalent than the term implies – more than half of people with cancer have a form of the disease considered "rare." The list includes pancreatic, sarcoma, uterine, cervical, brain, metastatic melanoma, stomach cancer and all pediatric cancers.
Every penny of every dollar raised goes for treatments, said her father Len Goodman. And it’s been a lot of dollars. The money has directly gone to begin treatment trials on patients – 13 new trials in the past year alone.
Jessica Kleiman, a writer and friend from Livingston, pays tribute on Forbes.com, What Does it Mean to Be Fearless?
Read more on Jen’s life in our remembrance, .
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Some of the top stories of the past week:
Well, in case you’ve been away, it’s been hot. Really hot. Hot enough to fry an egg. Hot enough for a in a backyard pool.
How hot was it?
: They'll be (another) hot time in the old town.
: It's hard to beat when it's 115 degrees on the field.
: Firefighters rescue dog left on balcony on sultry summer day.
: Livingston's Board of Education says it will wait to decide how to spend additional funding.
: The Board of Education accepts resignation of Steven Safran.
: Livingston will provide baseline cognitive testing for students who participate in sports.
: Learning cottages arrive as district prepares to move some classes outside during construction.
: Karen Chung was eliminated in quarterfinal play at Olympia Fields.
: Karen Chung is making another run at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.
: Girls turn up the heat to advance to championship game.
: Livingston Post 201 drops opener 16-1 to Lyndhurst.
: Livingston Nationals 10-U Team are Sectional Champs.
: A birthday is celebrated with gifts to send to soldiers overseas.
: Law firms raise $100,000 playing softball at Brookdale Park.
: World Trade Center rubble acquired for Eagle Rock Reservation.
: Time to Focus: Tips for planning the perfect vacation with your family.
: The Way I See It: Everyone knows everything about everyone.
: Livingston rocks with the B Street Band.
: The summer concerts in the Gazebo are one reason I love living in Livingston.
: Chelsea Galleries in NYC are a good place to spend the day.
: Apple Launches new operating system, introduces new MacBook Air and Mac minis.
: Hot spots for high-speed Internet access through WiFi networks.
: Livingston's deal finder shows you ways to save.
Police and Fire
: Crime Prevention Officers Association raises money for library and interactive web site.
: Property taxes and water bills can now be paid with a click of a mouse.
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Our favorite story this past week? That would be On July 20, 1969, I remember watching as Neil Armstrong took man's first small step on the moon. Do you?