Regarded by many as “the most inspiring person you will ever meet," Jennifer Goodman Linn has transformed a personal struggle into hope for millions.
Linn is an award-winning motivational speaker and marketing strategy consultant for some of the world’s most successful brands. Combining more than15 years of marketing expertise with her incredible life experience as a six-time cancer survivor, she is inspiring countless companies, individuals, and organizations with her "You Fearless" philosophy: the belief that anything is possible when you eliminate fear from the equation.
In the past six years, Linn has beaten sarcoma, a rare cancer of the connective tissue, six times. That translates into more than 12 courses of chemotherapy, six surgeries, and countless days spent focusing on recovery.
But simply surviving wasn’t enough for Linn.
Rather than letting her diagnosis defeat her, Linn vowed to make a difference. She realized she wasn’t alone; millions of other patients also were suffering from so-called rare cancers. Although technically rare, these are cancers everyone has heard of, such as leukemia, melanoma, pancreatic, brain, and all pediatric cancers. Individually they get little attention and less research funding to fuel advancements. Collectively, however, they account for about 50% of all cancer diagnoses.
In 2007, in order to stimulate research trials and provide additional treatment options and hope for her fellow patients with rare cancers, Linn developed and executed Cycle for Survival (cycleforsurvival.org).
What began as a modest indoor cycling event with 50 teams is now a 1,000+ team event spanning multiple cities across the globe. Today, Cycle for Survival is recognized as one of the fastest-growing cancer research fundraisers in the country. In just four years, Cycle for Survival has raised $9 million for rare cancer research. In an economy in which most fundraising events are down at least 10%, under Linn's leadership Cycle for Survival has more than doubled in scope every year.
Linn started Cycle for Survival as a small gesture of gratitude. She ended up developing a whole new way of attacking rare cancers.
The charity has funded more than 13 trials and research studies. Every dollar raised goes directly into turnkey research efforts, which have resulted in better treatment options for many cancer patients. In these days of diminished grant funding, Cycle for Survival speeds dollars directly to the most promising advancements, so real progress happens much faster. In many situations, Cycle for Survival has collapsed what is typically a 5-year process (from research in the lab to patients receiving medication) down to a mere 18 months.
Cycle for Survival has received tremendous media coverage. Linn has appeared on The Today Show and Rachael Ray and has been interviewed on CBS, ABC, MSNBC, and FOX. Her story has been featured in Vanity Fair, Redbook, Self, Whole Living and The Wall Street Journal. She was the recipient of Self Magazine’s Women Doing Good Award in 2008, was named one of Kraft Foods’ 100 Extraordinary Women in 2009, and was inducted into the Energizer Hall of Fame in 2010. Linn also has rung the opening bells of both NASDAQ and the NYSE.