Yesterday’s news of the USADA charges against Lance have made numerous friends ask me what I think of the situation. It seems to be the same with many of my fellow Lance Armstrong Foundation supporters and volunteers.
I am not Lance Armstrong and I cannot speak for him so if you want his view you need to contact him.
My personal opinion is I hope the public does not confuse Lance the cyclist of years past with the work of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Any charges stemming from his cycling days are not issues with Lance Armstrong Foundation. They are completely two different aspects of his life.
I personally support Lance in his efforts to defend the recent charges by the USADA. Lance has done a great job to date defending himself on past allegations so I expect him to do the same.
I will not spend time focusing on the allegations. My time will be spent helping the 28 million survivors around the world. My work with the Lance Armstrong Foundation helps people affected by cancer and empowers them to take action. That will be my focus.
Lance is the founder and chairman of the greatest cancer fighting organization in the world and a great cyclist. It was his hard work, dedication and inspiring advocacy that has lead the Lance Armstrong Foundation. It was his fight which inspired me to get involved days after being diagnosed with cancer. He is a true inspiration to all cancer survivors.
I look on the bright side and I believe Lance unless proven otherwise, but again it does not affect my view on the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the outstanding work they are doing.
That is the way I look at it. The Lance allegations are not a reflection on the Lance Armstrong Foundation, there Executive staff lead by CEO Doug Ulman, the great staff, their partners and their awesome volunteers.
There are several hundred LIVESTRONG Leaders globally which will face some tough questions over the next few weeks or months, but we will remain focused on the foundation, their mission and supporting the 28 million survivors around the global.
I continue to support, volunteer and raise funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I am glad Lance is leading us in the fight against cancer. All the drama and allegations that is going on right now does not change that.
Thank you Lance for creating such a terrific organization, inspiring me and allowing me to help others. No matter how this all works out I know you will still come out on top and continue to lead the fight against cancer.
As most of you already know or have seen the pictures on my facebook page I recently represented the great state of New Jersey and Region 1 (NJ, CT & RI) as a Senior LIVESTRONG Leader at the annual LIVESTRONG Assembly in Austin, Texas.
The 200 LIVESTRONG Leaders from 26 countries are highly engaged constituents identified by the Lance Armstrong Foundation to be representatives within their communities, where they support and promote the Foundation’s mission to serve people affected by cancer and empower communities to take action against the world’s leading cause of death.
During the Assembly, we were trained and educated on the goals and priorities of the Foundation and learned our role in supporting the organization’s mission here at home. We were also able to meet and share best practices with other LIVESTRONG partners who run programs in cities across the nation and around the world.
I was given the opportunity to sit on a panel and discuss how I work with our community organizations and hospitals to ensure they have the material and information about LIVESTRONG free One-on-One support, Navigation services and programs. It was a great experience to share my successes and challenges over the years and I received great feedback afterwards. It is a great feeling knowing you were able to help others.
Upon returning home, I have recently joined the New Jersey DHSS – Office of Cancer Control and Prevention work group on Advocacy and participated in my first meeting with them this week. Focus of this group is Advocating in NJ for specific bills, awareness, etc. I can see there will be a lot to learn and a lot I can offer.
I have also started to work with Camp Kesem UPENN. Camp Kesem UPENN is a student-run summer camp for children who have or had a parent with cancer and they are a LIVESTRONG Partner Program. I will be assisting them with raising awareness about the camp, fundraising and visiting the camp in August. I am also in discussions about joining the Camp Kesem UPENN Advisory Board.
On the awareness front I am working with the Lakewood BlueClaws to hold a LIVESTRONG Theme night in late July. I met with their Director of Special Events this week and we all agree we can do a theme night. Now we need to select a date and do the planning. This gives us an opportunity to reach between 7000-8000 people and let them know about LIVESTRONG and their free services.
In the area of fundraising I focus my effort on my participation in the LIVESTRONG Challenge Philly August 18-19. Currently I have raised over $2,600 and my goal it to raise $10,000. I formed a team called Jersey Shore Area for LIVESTRONG and I am working with other NJ LIVESTRONG Leaders to try and raise $20,000.
All of us in attendance made new connections that we will build up over the next few weeks and months to help make a difference in our communities. I plan to continue to advocate and fundraise on behalf of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, as well as educate the residents of New Jersey about the Foundation’s many free resources and programs that help improve the lives of people affected by cancer.
Jersey Shore Area for LIVESTRONG: http://jerseyshorearea4livestrong.wordpress.com/fundraising/
New Jersey DHSS – Office of Cancer Control and Prevention: http://www.nj.gov/health/ccp/
Camp Kesem UPENN: http://www.campkesem.org/upenn
Lakewood BlueClaws: http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t427
There is a lot not to like about the new health care bill, but I am not one of the people that will “hate the world” because of it. There are some good things that come with Health Care Reform. I like the list I saw from LIVESTRONG today.
Survivor’s Top Five—Health Care Reform
- “Pre-existing” conditions are history. As soon as this year for kids, and for all individuals by 2014, no insurance plan can deny you because you’re fighting cancer or any other illness.
- You can’t lose your insurance when you need it most. Within six months, no person can be dropped from their insurance plan when they receive a diagnosis of cancer or any other disease.
- An end to “lifetime caps” on your benefits. You won’t have to worry about your benefits “running out” as you’re fighting to take care of yourself or a family member.
- More coverage for young adults. Beginning in six months, you can stay on your parents’ coverage up to the age of 26.
- Support for clinical trials. By 2014, the law will prohibit new health plans from dropping or limiting coverage just because an individual is enrolled in a clinical trial.
Like I said there is a lot that I do not like about Health Care Reform, but as a cancer survivor and LIVESTRONG supporter we got most of the key items we wanted to address. There is still more work to do which will give us more items we want, but this is a good start.
I was reading the news during lunch today and see an article titled “Italy’s Disaster Chief Blasts ‘Pathetic’ U.S. Aid Work in Haiti” and I must say I was a bit shocked. Guido Bertolaso, the head of Italy’s Civil Protection Agency, told Italian television on Sunday the U.S.-led relief effort in Haiti was a “pathetic” failure that is turning a national tragedy into a “vanity show for the television cameras.”
Mr. Bertolaso goes on to say the USA “tends to confuse military intervention with emergency intervention,” and that despite the presence of 13,000 U.S. troops there, “no one is giving orders.”
I am not in Haiti helping, but I know thousands of US citizens, military men and woman are there doing their best to help a country devastated by the recent earthquake. In times of disaster, no matter were in the world the USA is always the first country to stand up and volunteer to help in anyway possible.
Though I did not watch the entire Hope for Haiti show I can honestly say it was all for a good cause, which reportly raised $58M and still growing. Without the telethon the numbers raised would be much, much smaller.
I also read further in the article and see that the USA donated $184M. Can someone tell me what other country donated that much? NONE! The reality is when it comes to natural disasters there is no other country in the world that offers more assistance then the USA.
I am connected to hundreds of people via social networking and I often see people say we should focus on our own country’s devastating issues (i.e. homeless, rebuild New Orleans, fight cancer, fight heart disease, etc.) and not be so involved with Haiti. Yes, we should work those issues as hard as we possibly can, but the issue in Haiti is affecting an entire country. Over 100,000 people have died with more unaccounted for. We, the USA, need to stand up and help. If we were to turn the other way we would be foolish.
Our fast response to the earth quake and volunteering shows the true blood line of the USA and shows what makes us a great country. We HELP when it is needed no matter who or where you are. That is one of the many reasons why millions of people around the world would do anything to live here.
Mr. Bertolaso should think before he speaks. I am not knocking Italy for only donating $9M to Haiti. Maybe that is what they can afford. We cannot expect more as we do not know what they can or cannot donate. Heck, in Haiti, the $9M can rebuild a significant portion of what was destroyed.
Let’s spend less time knocking each other and focus on the problem at hand. Remember it is all about HELPING each other.