Recent Facebook post by my uncle: [January 11, 2006 – a day that profoundly changed our lives. But Jimmy, that day pales in comparison to what you’ve accomplished since. Son, I’m so proud of you and continue to be inspired every day by your amazing combination of toughness and compassion. Happy 7th “birthday” my man. And no cancer survivor’s “birthday” should be celebrated without saying thank you Lance and thank you LIVESTRONG. They have forever changed how we all look at and deal with cancer.]
Most everyone knows Lance Armstrong was recently found out to be doping during his cycling career. Because of this he lost his long-time contracts with Nike, Trek, and Anheuser Bush and is banned from the sport. What I think worst of all, he was also forced out of his chairman and board member of the foundation he created, Livestrong.
Livestrong is not just a name for me. At age 13 my cousin, Jimmy, was diagnosed with brain cancer, and then it came back at age 15, and then 17 and recently it was found in his spine at age 20. The entire time, The Livestrong Foundation and Lance himself was behind him. When doctors in Oregon didn’t know what to do, Livestrong retrieved the right medication within two days. When Jimmy had his routine 3-month scans, a text from Lance always followed to get a status update. My belief is that Livestrong saved my cousin’s life. If he had not been apart of this organization from early on, I think Jimmy’s hope would have diminished. Jimmy started to raise money for the foundation and take part in rides from the early stages of his cancer. Since then he has raised over $100,000 and has flown to Lance’s house to ride next to him in Texas’ Ride for the Roses. Lance has been a hero for Jimmy all these years, and even now all Jimmy wanted for Christmas was donations to the foundation. He knows Livestrong must be hurting with the statements surrounding Lance and I hope that through all this press, the foundation’s goals are not tarnished.
In my opinion the foundation’s accomplishments and his cycling career should be separate in most aspects. Lance built the foundation through his bicycling success; hopefully it won’t be the foundation’s downfall as well.
Lance had avoided the accusations for so long, but when he finally confessed, he crushed the hopes of millions of supported him. While Lance may have disappointed millions, he still created a foundation that has helped save millions more. He was a phenomenal athlete, and has put his achievements toward good use. It will be interesting to see what’s in store for him in the years to come.
Do you think Lance got everything he deserved? Should the media be all negative or are there any positive aspects regarding this athletic icon?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m2H46ZIacU – start at 55 seconds
*As a side note, on January 17th, Oprah has a special interview with Lance Armstrong so tune in if interested!