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Lance Armstrong, An Athlete and a Giver

I’m a huge Lance Armstrong fan, and it’s not just because he’s the best Tour de France winner the world has ever seen. It’s not because Lance has set the world record for winning the grueling race seven times in a row, after struggling to overcome cancer. And it’s not because he recently made a phenomenal comeback to the sport by winning a third place finish in the 2009 Tour de France at the age of 37. The real reason why I just love Lance Armstrong is because he has raised more than $250 million to support cancer survivors in America through his Livestrong Foundation.

Few athletes can make this kind of an impact. As a top cyclist, I’m sure Lance makes a decent salary. But, even the top cyclist will never earn what top football and baseball players make annually. And, yet, he has given every ounce of his time and huge amounts of his money to try to make a difference in other people’s lives. His comeback to the world of professional cycling wasn’t even about him – it was about giving a world stage to the fight against cancer.

I’m not sure that anyone seriously thought he’d do well in the race. But leave it to Lance to prove everyone wrong – a third place finish after four years of retirement says it all. He’s a fighter. And, to share that fighting spirit with those struggling against cancer, Lance started the Livestrong Foundation in 1997.

The Lance Armstrong Livestrong Foundation offers a variety of services for cancer survivors and their loved ones. One service, the SurvivorCare program, provides one-on-one support to counsel cancer patients through financial, insurance, and employment concerns. Patients can even hear about clinical trials and get referrals to local treatment resources. The SurvivorCare hotline is 866-673-7205.

Patients can also access Profiler Tools through the Livestrong Foundation website. These tools enable a patient to anonymously complete information about his or her cancer diagnosis and receive a personalized list of treatment options, side effects, pros and cons, and questions to ask physicians.

In an effort to inspire cancer patients to fight, Livestrong has posted 175 “Survivorship” stories on its website. Yes, Lance’s story is there for anyone who hasn’t heard about his triumph over testicular cancer. But, you’ll also find stories of inspiration from everyday men, women, and children who, by sharing their war stories hope to push others along in their battles.

The Livestrong Foundation has also provided grants for important cancer research. In addition, Livestrong will spend more than $3 million funding community programs in nearly l00 communities across the country. Overall, the Livestrong Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for cancer patients by inspiring, uniting, informing, and empowering patients fighting any kind of cancer.

Lance is no longer just a super athlete or a cancer survivor. For all he’s done to inspire and assist others, he is truly a hero. The Livestrong manifesto says it all:
“We believe in life.
Your life.
We believe in living every minute of it with every ounce of your being.
And that you must not let cancer take control of it.
We believe in energy: channeled and fierce.
We believe in focus: getting smart and living strong.
Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything.
This is the Lance Armstrong Foundation.”

Livestrong Foundation
When you click on this page, a video will play that will highlight the full manifesto of the Foundation. Watch it. It is powerful. Then, peruse the rest of the site.
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