By Jim Stallard
“Thanks to MSK and Cycle for Survival’s mission, I get to rewrite my story,” says Barbie Cervoni, one of thousands of participants who rode this year to raise money for rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Diagnosed with thymoma 12 years ago, Barbie, now 37, took part in her seventh Cycle for Survival to help create a better future for people with a rare cancer.
Cycle for Survival started as a single indoor ride in New York City and, over 14 years, has grown into a national movement that has received support from over 1 million individuals and companies. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cycle for Survival made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the final three days of events in 2020. But still, the entire community of participants stayed focused on raising money to make a difference in the fight to beat rare cancers.
Every dollar raised through Cycle for Survival goes directly to research for rare cancers, which affect about half of all people with cancer. The category includes thyroid, brain, ovarian, pancreatic, and all pediatric cancers. The money is distributed to researchers within six months of the event to accelerate progress through innovative studies and clinical trials of new drugs and treatments.
Since her last treatment in 2019, Barbie says she is the strongest she has ever been physically and is living life with love and gratitude. “Make no mistake, I will keep fighting and raising money for rare cancer,” she says.