Dr. Marisa K. Garshick is a leading dermatologist in New York City, member of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS), active supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and participant in the Cycle for Survival. Dr. Garshick has tremendous time and energy helping others, not just in her career, but outside the office as well.
Dr. Garshick’s desire to help others came at an early age and has continued throughout her life. She credits her parents as her earliest role models, as they encouraged her to pursue her passions and showed her the meaning of a strong work ethic.
“I always found satisfaction and reward in helping people and particularly in a way that they found meaningful. As a teenager, I worked at a summer camp for children with cancers and hematologic disorders, and I found the impact that I could have on someone else’s life by helping to improve their quality of life. The experience for me was truly life-changing and after that, each experience opened a new door and led me to where I am today.”
“With regards to dermatology, since I was a young girl, I have always been interested in and fascinated by the field. It is well-known that many skin conditions can have a profound impact on quality of life and my goals of enriching patients’ quality of life in a way that they cannot just feel, but also visualize, remains my focus when seeing my patients daily.”
Dr. Garshick has been an active supporter in the Cycle for Survival to raise awareness and funds for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, an institution that fosters pioneer research, clinical trials, and treatment for rare cancers. This unique fundraising event quickly allocates the money raised for research of rare cancers.
“Although rare cancers may be few in number, when it affects you or someone you love, it suddenly doesn’t seem so rare. Some of these include kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, pediatric malignancies, lymphoma, leukemia, and brain tumors among others.”
Dr. Garshick’s experiences working at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center introduced her to this cause, as she learned how many of her patients have enrolled in clinical trials, thus furthering medical advances. By participating in this cause, she continues to fight for her patients.
“While I was fortunate to see many patients leave the hospital healthier than when they arrived, I will never forget the ones who didn’t and wanted to find a way to honor their legacy.”
Participating in the Cycle for Survival is taxing – each ride is 50 minutes long, or if you choose to “go extreme,” you can endure four hours of straight nonstop cycling.
Since 2007, Cycle for survival has raised $105 million, funding over 100 clinical trials and studies.
The funds are put to good use quickly, and the hard work demonstrates results. As development and progress is achieved, updates are made to inform those who participated in the event. The event’s website illustrates where and how the money raised is used.
“Knowing that each dollar really makes a difference makes it an easy decision to support this cause.”
To learn more about Cycle for Survival, or to participate, you can inquire at your local Equinox gym or visit the charity’s website. From there, you can register yourself and start a team of participants and supporters.
For her achievements, Dr. Garshick remains humble and positive. Treating and assisting her patients is her priority and she believes education and self-care are vital when dealing with cancer. Talking to one’s family and understanding your family history are extremely important, while remembering that cancer can affect anyone.
“Remember that cancer can affect anyone. It is a scary reality, but cancer doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender, race, education, general health, socioeconomic status or location. Try not to ignore signs in you or those you love.”
As much of a harsh reality that cancer can be, Dr. Garshick does not give up hope. Participating in events like Cycle for Survival has shown her that each person can make a difference, and the results can be seen each year.
“I feel very grateful to be able to see patients and do what I love each day. I have realized that there are always ways to get involved – sometimes outside the scope of your specialty, to help and give back in ways you never thought possible. Participating in fundraising events like this and demonstrating what people can achieve when they come together has been so rewarding for me personally and it is the indescribable emotion at the event that keeps me energized and eager to participate the year after. The number of survivors that ride in cycle for survival each year shows that we are making progress, but there is still work to be done and I would encourage people to get involved in the fight.”