The air was steamy, the music was pumping, the adrenaline was flowing, and the energy was high as rows and rows of amped riders mounted indoor bikes at Equinox in NYC’s Rockefeller Center yesterday to spin. But this was no ordinary workout; it was an epic, physical and emotional battle for cancer patients, one of the many Cycle for Survival 2013 events happening around the country to raise money for lifesaving research on rare cancers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Women You Should Know Co-Founder Cynthia Hornig was riding in this year’s event – Cycle for Survival’s biggest yet with 13,000 participants and 2,750 bikes in 10 cities – for very personal reasons. She was honoring her father, Richard Schultz, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer just last year, and fighting for a cure for her dear friend Jill Fagin, who was recently diagnosed with a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. Cynthia also pedaled and pushed and sweat for the many countless people who have been and continue to be affected by this devastating disease.

Cynthia and her dadRiding alongside Jill as part of Team Jill Fagin, Cynthia shared her perspective on why it was so important for her to help, “With the loss of my father, this year has been the most difficult time I have had to face, but it is nothing in comparison to those who are suffering with and fighting against cancer every single day.”

In addition to spinning like rock stars in relay shifts from 8:00am – 5:00pm, the 14 dedicated members of Team Jill Fagin placed 14th nationally in overall fundraising for rare cancer research. Within six months of today’s event, 100% of the team’s collective donation total of $60,655.00 will go to Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s research of PNETs or Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors.

The entire WYSK team could not be more proud of Jill, Cynthia, and their fierce Cycle for Survival 2013 team! We also send Jill our very best wishes for her continued good health, strength, determination and bravery.

Cynthia Hornig with Jill Fagin_2013 Cycle for Survival

What is A Rare Cancer?

No one beats cancer until WE ALL BEAT CANCER.

More than 50% of people diagnosed with cancer have a rare form of the disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, a “rare cancer” is one with a prevalence of fewer than 200,000 affected individuals in the United States. Rare cancers include brain, pancreatic, cervical, sarcoma, stomach, pediatric and countless others.

Many rare cancers are drastically underfunded, leaving patients with limited treatment options. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the nation’s preeminent center for research and treatment, is committed to changing that and treats more than 400 subtypes of cancer each year.

About Cycle for Survival:

Jennifer and David Linn co-founded Cycle for Survival in 2007 to raise crucial funds for rare cancer research. Cycle became an official Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center event in 2009. It has nearly doubled in size and fundraising totals each successive year, making it one of the fastest growing athletic events in the US and one of the fastest growing fundraising events in the world.

Since 2007, Cycle for Survival has raised over $31 million dollars for rare cancer research and funded 53 clinical trials and research studies.

We are happy to report that so far, Cycle for Survival 2013 has raised over $13,510,572! Bravo to everyone who cycled, donated or cheered.