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

affected by a rare soft tissue sarcoma and passed away in 2011. Jennifer and her husband Dave organized the event as a practical response to the fact that although, in sum, rare cancers account for more than 50 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the United States, individually such diseases affect too few patients to attract significant research dollars.

"I first got involved four or five years ago," SNL's Meyers said at the event. "Dave [Linn] and I went to Northwestern [University] together, so I've known him for 20 years. And even though Jennifer ultimately didn't make it, it's really special to continue to come out and participate and honor her memory."

Herzlich's participation is even more personal.

"I was a senior in college, and I was told that I would never be able to walk again," he said. Ewing's sarcoma typically occurs among children and young adults, affecting the long bones of the arms, legs, pelvis or chest. "Actually, if I had had it 20 years ago they would've amputated my leg immediately," the linebacker said.

He added that the same disease took the life of a good family friend just this past year.

"But I'm in full remission now," Herzlich added. "Cancer-free for three years. And I'm playing football. And that's only because of external organizations like this one, that raise money and attention for these very rare diseases that wouldn't get the kind of federal funding that more common diseases, like prostate or colon cancer, would get. So I feel it's really important to come and show my support."

The organizers for this year's "Cycle for Survival" said the event is being hosted at 10 different Equinox locations from coast to coast, and will be attended by more than 13,000 volunteer cyclists. So far, the annual event has raised nearly $31 million for cancer research ($12 million in 2013 alone), 100 percent of which has gone toward the funding of 53 different Memorial Sloan-Kettering rare cancer research programs.<
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