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 Cycle for Survival 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, Jennifer Goodman Linn, Fearless Fighter.
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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 bear to take a dip in a backyard pool.
How hot was it?
Heat Wave Not Taking A Day Off: They'll be (another) hot time in the old town.
Athletes Compete With The Heat: It's hard to beat when it's 115 degrees on the field.
Dog Days of Summer are Dangerous for Pets: Firefighters rescue dog left on balcony on sultry summer day.
Extra State Aid: No Tax Relief, For Now: Livingston's Board of Education says it will wait to decide how to spend additional funding.
5 Things from the BOE: Popular LHS Teacher Resigns: The Board of Education accepts resignation of Steven Safran.
The Heads-Up on Concussions: Livingston will provide baseline cognitive testing for students who participate in sports.
School Repairs: Portable Trailers Roll into Town: Learning cottages arrive as district prepares to move some classes outside during construction.
Young Golfer Loses at Junior Nationals: Karen Chung was eliminated in quarterfinal play at Olympia Fields.
Golfer Reaches Sweet 16 in National Tourney: Karen Chung is making another run at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.
Livingston Thunder 14-U to Play for League Title: Girls turn up the heat to advance to championship game.
Young American Legion Team Loses in NJ Playoffs: Livingston Post 201 drops opener 16-1 to Lyndhurst.
Little Leaguers Come Up Big Again: Livingston Nationals 10-U Team are Sectional Champs.
To Give Is Better Than to Receive: A birthday is celebrated with gifts to send to soldiers overseas.
Barristers Come to Bat for Fresh Air Fund: Law firms raise $100,000 playing softball at Brookdale Park.
Steel Arrives for Essex County 9/11 Memorial: World Trade Center rubble acquired for Eagle Rock Reservation.
Are We There Yet?: Time to Focus: Tips for planning the perfect vacation with your family.
Is Anybody, Everybody Listening?: The Way I See It: Everyone knows everything about everyone.
Summer Music: A Hot Night at the Gazebo: Livingston rocks with the B Street Band.
Celebrating Fellowship at the Oval: The summer concerts in the Gazebo are one reason I love living in Livingston.
Day Trip to Chelsea: Art on a Budget: Chelsea Galleries in NYC are a good place to spend the day.
Tech News: Apple Upgrades MacBook Air: Apple Launches new operating system, introduces new MacBook Air and Mac minis.
5 Places to Hook Up: Hot spots for high-speed Internet access through WiFi networks.
Mother of All Deals: Best Bargains Around Town: Livingston's deal finder shows you ways to save.
Police and Fire
Essex County's Finest Honor Their Own: Crime Prevention Officers Association raises money for library and interactive web site.
Livingston Tax Office Offering Online Payments: Property taxes and water bills can now be paid with a click of a mouse.
You can find all the news on top of the Livingston Patch site by clicking on the tab for News. You can browse by Arts, Government, Business, Police and Fire, School News, Sports, Announcements, Events and Local Voices -- blog posts written by Patch readers, to continue the conversations we are having in our homes with a broader audience. If you're interested in blogging, email email@example.com.
Our favorite story this past week? That would be One Giant Leap For Mankind: On July 20, 1969, I remember watching as Neil Armstrong took man's first small step on the moon. Do you?