I posted a few days ago about the recent developments of Lance Armstrong and LIVESTRONG. Again, I thought it would be my last post.
I was wrong.
I’m sure mine is a polarizing position. One I might have shied away from a few days ago, though unlikely.
As the media attention has ratcheted up about Lance there have been reasons for people to turn away. Even I had said to myself and others, “It’s not about Lance. It’s about the fight against cancer.” That’s an easy answer to a tough question, but not a fair one.
I spent the weekend in Austin, celebrating 15 years of LIVESTRONG. And even Lance said the mission wasn’t about him. But, he’s wrong.
LIVESTRONG can’t help but be about him. We’re all a part of the movement to fight cancer at all levels. But, there’s no LIVESTRONG without him. And, while it would be easier to hide right now, he’s not.
He told an audience of 1400 ardent supporters last night that he’s had better days, but he’s surely had worse.
He told a much smaller group at a private function this evening, “It’s not about Lance Armstrong. It’s about Renee Nicholas, it’s about Brian Rose…….and thousands of others winning the fight against cancer…..when you go back to your communities and talk about LIVESTRONG, keep me out of it if you have to. Keep me in it if you want to.”
Those are not the words of a selfish man. Over and over this weekend I heard stories of people who beat cancer. Triumphant stories that almost brought me to tears. I heard the story of a woman who had supported LIVESTRONG’s mission for years. She lost the fight the night before our celebration, and that brought tears to everyone there.
So, I sit here, defiant. Knowing it would be easy to dismiss Lance’s presence to advance the cause.
But, it’s about Lance. And now, it’s about me.
And thousands of others.
I hope you’ll join me. If we help just one more person it’s worth it.