Young boy launches event to raise money against cancer

Dr. Sapna Parikh has the inspirational story of a young boy who proves it's never too early to fight for a good cause.
February 7, 2014 2:15:32 PM PST
The idea of raising money for a good cause is not exactly a novel idea ? that is unless the person in charge is just six years old.

That's exactly the case for one young fundraiser, and he's proving that there's no such thing as too young to make a difference.

Inspired by their six-year-old classmate Ethan Sandlofer, the students at Primary Prep Elementary and Middle School in Jersey City, NJ are joining the battle against cancer. Ethan is launching a new cycling event to raise money for cancer research.

"We're doing this for my mom so no one else dies like my mom did," he said. "And we don't want anyone else to die."

Ethan lost his mother Gaby to a rare cancer called angiosarcoma.

"We're trying to get medicine that might be strong enough to beat cancer," the young boy said.

Beating cancer is also the goal of Cycle for Survival ? a series of high energy indoor cycling events at Equinox gyms across the country.

The model for Ethan's event raised over $41 million since 2007, funding 85 clinical trials and research studies at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

But upon finding out that the events were exclusively for adults, Ethan decided to have his own.

"This is only a kids event because it was a grown up event at the other one," he said. "So we're doing just a kids event this time."

It all started with a simple request to his father.

"He just said 'can I do my own' - like any parent I said yes and it just metamorphosized into this," Ethan's father Jason Sandlofer said.

E's Biker Buddies will launch on Feb. 22 with 200 kids and 50 kid-size bikes in the Primary Prep school gym, welcoming any child age five to 14 and at least 48 inches tall from any school.

Beyond the cycling fundraiser, the event will also be packed with entertainment.

"We're having games, we're having a DJ, we're having a magician," Ethan promised.

Ethan's classmate Kelvin Chang donated to the cause right on the spot.

"I just remembered I had this money in my pocket and I wanted to give it to them," the 10-year-old Chang said.

Ethan's father said planning the event has helped his son cope.

"Asking questions about it, about his mom and about cancer - it's gonna trickle down to his peers and that's what it's all about ? raising awareness," he said.

Principal Maureen Hoffman believes the event will yield positive benefits for others.

"We've dealt with many kids whose parents have passed away, children with cancer," she said. "I'm sure this will touch somebody else's life also."

Though this is just the launch of Ethan's campaign, he already has high expectations for it.

"We'll raise money until we get 50,000 - but we might get more than 50,000," he said.

The event is on Feb. 22 and still has room for more kids.

To join Ethan's team, e-mail