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Stars Pedal Hard to Help Fight Rare Cancers
Date:3/4/2013

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- At the top of his game, it's hard to imagine New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich as anything other than the picture of health. But the 25-year-old is a cancer survivor.

In 2009, Herzlich was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a particularly rare form of bone tumor with few treatment options. Rarer cancers often have fewer therapies because the research money just hasn't been there to seek out new cures.

So, Herzlich, along with stars such as "Saturday Night Live" comic Seth Meyers and "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi, donned bike shorts Sunday and joined in the annual "Cycle for Survival" fundraiser for rare cancer research at New York City's Rockefeller Center.

"I'm here," Herzlich said, "because I know what having this kind of rare disease is all about."

Launched in 2007, "Cycle for Survival" is hosted nationwide at outlets of event co-founder Equinox gyms. Each year the event attracts thousands of self-sponsored teams of volunteers -- the famous and not-so-famous.

Sunday's New York City event, staged at three of Equinox's facilities, also included "Survivor" winner (and cancer survivor) Ethan Zohn; Olympic figure skating silver medalist Sasha Cohen; and Huffington Post editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington.

Together they jumped on indoor stationary bikes and, in four-hour shifts, spun wheels with one goal in mind -- to fund research being conducted at NYC's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

The name "rare cancers" might even be a misnomer. According to the U.S. Rare Diseases Act of 2002, enacted to help boost research funding, a "rare disease" is anything affecting less than 200,000 people a year. This means that many lymphomas and subtypes of colon cancer might be considered "rare," as well as every form of cancer affecting children.

"Cycle for Survival" started with the late Jennifer Goodman Linn, who was
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