361 days: The Lance Armstroung Foundation (LIVESTRONG)

On Saturday I introduced the WHAT: raise $10,000 for charity by Sept. 22, 2013.

On Sunday I discussed WHY. “And this time I have a plan.”

The rest of this week we’ll focus on the WHO and the HOW.

  • Monday through Thursday I am introducing you to the 4 organizations I would like to support over the next year. So far we’ve met: HerShe and the ASPCA
  • Friday I am going to explain the mechanisms behind my plan, and describe how YOU can get involved.

This next organization really needs no introduction. The Lance Armstrong Foundation and LIVESTRONG. Notice the capital letters. The word “STRONG” in bold font. That’s the way they like it, and who am I to argue?

Love Lance. Hate Lance. I do not care. Let me repeat myself: I. DO. NOT. CARE.

Why?

Because the LIVESTRONG organization is rock solid. The things they do are truly quite amazing, particularly when you talk to a family that has benefited from the programs, information, and support that they provide.

There are a ton of organizations out there that are focused on finding the cure, or more bluntly “kicking cancer’s ass.” And those organizations (you’ll meet one tomorrow) are wonderful. Fantastic, even. But finding a cure next year provides very little solace to somebody who is diagnosed today. And that is what LIVESTRONG is all about.

You’ve seen the mission statements of other organizations, intent on capturing and communicating in a sentence or two or three what they are all about. LIVESTRONG has a manifesto:

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 LIVESTRONG.

We kick in the moment you’re diagnosed.
We help you accept the tears. Acknowledge the rage.
We believe in your right to live without pain.
We believe in information. Not pity.
And in straight, open talk about cancer.
With husbands, wives and partners. With kids, friends and neighbors. Your healthcare team. And the people you live with, work with, cry and laugh with.
This is no time to pull punches.
You’re in the fight of your life.

We’re about the hard stuff.
Like finding the nerve to ask for a second opinion.
And a third, or a fourth, if that’s what it takes.
We’re about preventing cancer. Finding it early. Getting smart about clinical trials.
And if it comes to it, being in control of how your life ends.
It’s your life. You will have it your way.

We’re about the practical stuff.
Planning for surviving. Banking your sperm. Preserving your fertility. Organizing your finances. Dealing with hospitals, specialists, insurance companies and employers.
It’s knowing your rights.
It’s your life.
Take no prisoners.

We’re about the fight.
We’re your advocate before policymakers. Your champion within the healthcare system. Your sponsor in the research labs.
And we know the fight never ends.
Cancer may leave your body, but it never leaves your life.
This is LIVESTRONG.
Founded and inspired by Lance Armstrong, one of the toughest cancer survivors on the planet.

Yeah, that is some serious stuff. And that is why at every race for the past several years, and every race in the future, you will see me rockin’ my bright yellow visor as I cross the finish line, pointing at the words LIVESTRONG emblazoned across the front. Because I believe in their mission. With a passion.

Over the course of the next 361 days I will be offering up opportunities to get to know more about LIVESTRONG and The Lance Armstrong Foundation, and to let you know ways that you can assist their cause. This is one of the organizations I would like to support, and have set a target of raising $2,000 for their mission by Sept. 22, 2013.

For more information, please visit the LIVESTRONG website, or visit their page on Crowdrise.

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