I am a LIVESTRONG Leader and this is my statement.

I am a LIVESTRONG Leader. This means I use some of the time allotted me on this earth to represent a cause I believe in. That cause is helping people and their families deal with how cancer changes their lives. If you want details of what this entails I can share speaking with couples frightened that their diagnosis of cancer will take away their dreams of growing a family: Visiting children in the hospital who lay vomiting on a bed, hooked to tubes and wires while I hold a strong face when the panic and bile in my guts makes me want to cry and run away: Standing fast with people who are dealing with this disease while others abandon them out of fear and ignorance: Intimate moments of reminding people how beautiful they are after having large parts of their bodies cut away or hacked off in an attempt to stop the spread of cancer: Holding hands and praying with people while they sit waiting news which is too much to bare alone: I have stood in front of career politicians asking for their support for over 34 billion dollars for cancer support, research and navigation programs (None of which goes to LIVESTRONG, I might add.) in hopes to spare future generations the need of doing any of this.

LIVESTRONG is about helping those with cancer, it is not about professional cycling. I shook Lance’s hand once and have spoken with him twice for no longer than a few minutes each time. The subject matter we spoke of had nothing to do with professional sports or cycling. I spoke with him about my Uncle Sid who was taken away from us by cancer. I shared Uncle Sid’s love for solving puzzles and how he built wooden wagons for children. I gave Lance my thanks for his part in creating an organization through which I could give sound to Uncle Sid’s now silent voice.

The snide media make their living with the sensationalism of kicking the great who fall. I do not fault them for their ignorant tirades, nor will I add logs to their pyre.

I support Lance Armstrong. I have said this many times and my feelings on the matter have not waned. Damn the torpedoes. Whether he did or did not use performance enhancing drugs is not my concern. I do not feel duped if he did, nor do I feel vindicated if he did not. The spectacle of professional cycling has little to do with the fact I like to ride a bicycle, and it has even less to do with the 28 million people and their families who are dealing with the issues cancer has brought into their lives, right now.

Lance stepped down as the Chairman of LIVESTRONG so that the focus could remain where it should be: on people dealing with cancer. Nike withdrew their personal sponsorship of Lance as an athlete. None of this is beyond what was expected. Lance is a big boy, he will be fine. I am not worried about him. He has homes all over the world, a super model girlfriend and a beautiful family. I’ll buy his next book, and you probably will too.

Now let us get back to work dealing with what is really important: cancer devastates the lives of people it touches. From the moment the doctor says “You have cancer” and the blackness fills your thoughts, LIVESTRONG gives you a path to run on and a lighted direction to go toward. My Uncle Sid is still helping people figure out that puzzle of ‘expert doctors’ and ‘proper insurance claim forms’ and government funded programs that help people with cancer screenings and treatments.

The work goes on…

http://blog.livestrong.org/2012/10/17/lance-armstrong-to-step-down-as-chairman-of-livestrong/

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