Friday, 01 March 2013 00:00
Danny Moritz was a senior at Cornell when he got the news that would change his life forever. The 21-year-old was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
“I was speechless,” Danny said. “I wondered, why me?”
Though he was only one month away from graduation, he moved back home to Long Island. He finished up classes remotely while he underwent surgery and radiation therapy at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).
Danny was able to return to school for his graduation ceremony and then resumed treatment during the summer. The surgery and radiation therapy were successful and this year, Danny celebrates 10 years of being cancer free.
Danny, along with his wife Amanda, recently celebrated this victory during a Cycle for Survival event held at the Equinox fitness club in Roslyn. The indoor cycling event, which is held at Equinox clubs nationwide, raises money for rare cancer research done by MSKCC. Participants sign up with a team of four to eight riders who take shifts pedaling stationary bikes for a four-hour session. They can also choose to go extreme, which means riding the entire four hours on their own. Once participants sign up, they fundraise and set up a page on the Cycle for Survival website where people can donate to the team or the individual.
Since its inception in 2007, Cycle for Survival has raised more than $25 million and has directly funded 53 clinical trials and research studies. All of the proceeds go directly to MSKCC within six months of the event.
“Sloan Kettering’s a world class cancer facility. They were instrumental in my fight and anything we can do to give back is great,” Danny said.
The Oyster Bay Cove couple first got involved in Cycle for Survival last year, when Amanda heard about the event through her gym, Equinox.
“I thought it was an amazing opportunity to raise money and have a good time, especially because my husband is a cancer survivor. And then this year I decided to make a team and Danny got involved,” Amanda said.
Almost 700 people attended the Roslyn event, which Amanda described as high energy and a celebration of life.
“The energy this year was completely off the charts. Equinox brought in the best spin trainers they had. All the trainers just brought the energy and everyone who was there was so positive and excited. I lost my voice for three days from the amount of cheering I did,” Amanda said.
The event hit especially close to home for the Moritz’s, since Danny’s cancer was a rare one. This was Danny’s first year participating in the event and he got to ride on the “Fearless” bike, which was alternated among survivors.
“It’s somewhat emotional because it’s a celebration and it’s raising money for cancer-something I battled and won so there was definitely a feeling of excitement. I was also thinking about the people who weren’t so lucky and hope the event can raise a lot of money to be part of the fight,” Danny said.
Under the team name, “Danny’s Angels,” the couple, along with seven other friends and neighbors, were able to raise almost $22,000. Amanda says she hopes that next year, they can raise double that amount.
“We’re really happy to be part of the event and to keep spreading the word and raising money for the cause,” Amanda said. “It was really fate that brought us into Cycle for Survival. I was immediately drawn to it. I can’t explain why but I’m very grateful that we did.”
Another Cycle for Survival will take place March 2 and 3 in New York City at Equinox: Graybar located at 420 Lexington Ave. For details, visit cycleforsurvival.org.