Wednesday, January 20, 2010

LIVESTRONG isn't just about Cancer

I've gotten some feedback on my blog post from last month, "Wait... you don't have cancer?". And it got me thinking...

When you peruse the site, you are challenged to "Pick a fight" or to "Take a dare". Don't be misled into thinking this doesn't apply to you if you don't have cancer. Just because you have another condition, disorder or battle doesn't excuse you from the need to LIVESTRONG. Yes, the organization's primary call to action is against cancer. But, as Jed Barlett loves to say, once cancer is taken care of, "What's next?"

There are many other mysterious and debilitating diseases on the list of modern-day plagues, that affect millions of people on this planet. LIVESTRONG applies to them, too. No, I haven't been to LIVESTRONG headquarters yet, nor have I sat in Doug Ulman's office and peered into his Filofax to see what was next on the list, but rest assured, I'd bet somewhere there is a "hit list" of battles once the global battle against cancer is won.

Will that victory be declared tomorrow? Next week? Next month? Who knows. But that also doesn't mean that we can't prepare or battle another disease just because there are other targets. That doesn't mean that we can't "fight the good fight" because we have been touched by another disease. Diabetes, MS, Parkinson's, AIDS, heart disease, depression, anxiety disorders, and so many more enemies have their sights set on us. What LIVESTRONG does today, for cancer, will have residual, positive effects on those fighting battles against these diseases and conditions.

Don't let the fact that you don't have cancer, nor has anyone in your immediate circle, prevent you from joining the call to LIVESTRONG. Pick your own battle. But, above all else, pick one. And fight.


Below is the LIVESTRONG "Manifesto". You can see inspiration lies within it for those fighting battles other than cancer, too. You can just as easily swap out the word "cancer" for other diseases and challenges that we may face. Note that the name of the organization isn't "CANCERSTRONG". Of course, the primary efforts are geared towards cancer survivorship. But, as seen on, there are many other battles to be won, and many other ways to LIVESTRONG aside from surviving cancer.

The Manifesto of the Lance Armstrong Foundation

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.
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. 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 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 champion on Capitol Hill. Your advocate with 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 the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Founded and inspired by one of the toughest cancer survivors on the planet.

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I'm all about free speech, etc, but I have to ask that comments are respectful of other readers, the fact that I, and many of us who follow this blog, support LIVESTRONG, and that you reserve Lance or LIVESTRONG bashing for another forum. As of right now, I'm still allowing Anonymous postings, however, that may not be the case in the future. Thanks!