Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Kids' Cancer Charity Expands across U.S

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Kids' Cancer Charity Expands across U.S

Article excerpt

When it comes to raising money for charity, David Plotkin takes an entrepreneurial approach.

That's not terribly surprising for someone who spent most of his adult life trading on Wall Street.

Plotkin was also a star athlete at Newark Academy in Livingston 20 years ago.

And when his son Max was diagnosed with lymphoma one day before his fourth birthday in March 2007, the Tenafly resident turned his energy to the fight against pediatric cancer. In addition to helping his son battle his disease, Plotkin also launched the Max Cure Foundation.

Through his business and personal connections, the foundation has raised enough to donate more than $900,000 to create a cell-therapy research lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York.

But Plotkin also wanted to do something for families struggling to survive emotionally and financially while their kids undergo treatment.

"When your child has to go for chemotherapy treatments, you have to stick to them or your kid's going to die," he said. "And while we like to think employers are sympathetic and progressive, not all of them are. You can't just take off six months to take your kid to treatment every day. You'll get fired. That's what happens to a lot of families. We believe poverty should not be a death sentence."

So Plotkin put his business acumen together with his interest in athletics and created events around the country that combine physical activity with charitable giving.

Next month, for example, the foundation will team up with Flywheel Sports -- a company that operates indoor cycling fitness studios -- for a "Be Brave N' Fly" national cycling event. People can sign up at 11 Flywheel studios from New York to Seattle (including one in Englewood) for a nationwide cycling class that will start and finish simultaneously around the country. All the proceeds will benefit the foundation's program to help low-income families of kids with cancer.

Plotkin has another national fundraising campaign on the drawing board, Be Brave 24, which will be launched in Austin, Texas, in May.

"It's going to change fitness and endurance races," he said. …

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