Today is LiveStrong Day, a day to acknowledge and support the 28 million people around the world who are living with cancer. This annual celebration takes place on the anniversary of Lance Armstrong’s October 2, 1996 cancer diagnosis. Yes, you read that correctly, a celebration of a cancer diagnosis. In Armstrong’s own words:
The truth is that cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Armstrong’s diagnosis is also the best thing that happened to millions of cancer patients. After fighting his own battle with cancer, Armstrong (with a little help from his friends) founded LiveStrong – a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping cancer patients and their families navigate the unfamiliar territory of cancer treatment. At a time when emotions are running high and stakes for choosing the right treatment are even higher, LiveStrong’s employees step in to lend a helping hand to millions of people around the world.
Yes, I’m a Lance Armstrong fan. Yes, I wear one of those yellow wristbands every day. And this is why: Armstrong could easily write a check – a very large check – every year to support cancer research; or he could hold one heck of an annual event to raise millions of dollars in support of cancer research. Instead, he shows up every day leveraging his name, his story, and his healthy athletic self to help people figure out how they can deal with hearing these three words: You. Have. Cancer.
Instead of feeling alone, cancer patients are embraced by an extended family experiencing the highs and lows of cancer treatment right along with them. There is a place to turn when you have a question about your cancer treatment; there is a place to turn when you don’t know what questions to ask; that place is LiveStrong.
The words of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and LiveStrong say it best:
Unity is strength.
Knowledge is power.
Attitude is everything.
LiveStrong may be the most powerful example of leveraging celebrity status I’ve come across. But then again, we’d expect nothing less of Armstrong, would we?
This blog post is one in a series highlighting good deeds. Please share examples of good deeds in your community with us below or contact Deb directly.