NEW YORK (CBS 2) — For the past several years,  “Cycle For Awareness” has been raising money and awareness for rare forms of cancer, like the one that founder Jennifer Goodman-Linn had been battling. This summer, Jen lost a brave, 7-year battle, but her grace and courage remained an inspiration.

“I’ll never forget it, the radiologist said to me, are you aware that you have a tumor the size of a football in your stomach?” Jen told CBS 2 in an interview before she passed away.

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In 2004, Jen was diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Regular trips to the gym to ride an exercise bike became a regular part of her recovery.

“For me being on the bike was cathartic…when it felt good I did an hour, when it didn’t, I did 15 minutes,” she said.

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Jen’s friend Kate Sullivan told CBS 2 that those trips to the gym eventually gave birth to an idea.

“One day we got together, we said what happens if we put our passion for cycling together with raising money for rare cancers. And that’s cycle for survival,” Sullivan said.

In its first year cycle for survival had a handful of people, mostly Jen’s friends and family, participating at a local gym. But the fundraiser took off and the money raised was donated to the Memorial Sloan Kettering for Research of Rare Cancers. Last year there were 4,500 participants in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.

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The 2012 Cycle For Survival will take place in New York the weekend of February 11 and 12.