I liked the article, i thought it was well done. I read Armstrong’s book while going through chemo and it is a inspiration to read. Do I think it helped me get through? Partially. I credit my doctors and medical science more than anything. The book helped in the mindset to recovery along with Wolverine from Marvel comics.
As I go through life now as a cancer survivor and a cyclist that also races from time to time I do hear the comparisons. I usually brush them aside, as I want to be remembered as a nice guy more than a Armstrong apostle. How many times have you been yelled at by cars “get off the road Armstrong!”?
The whole Armstrong situation taints my goals for Zendoughnut a bit. I am more likely to partner with CCA (http://www.joyrx.org/) or First Descents (http://firstdescents.org/) over Livestrong now. I think we will see more of that from others in the future as the whole story comes out.
Already starting to be a fun year, eh?
For me the “Livestrong yellow” transformed into a sickened jaundiced yellow a long time ago. Click here to read the about my feelings the last time I dealt with it.
I give Livestrong credit for changing the public perception of cancer patients from “victims” to “survivors” and for giving people “hope.”
But did Livestrong help my wife battle her cancer? Nope. It did nothing even though I gave her Livestrong materials and notebooks. She reviewed the docs, scratched her head, put them away, and got on with her treatments. We were lucky that we had good health insurance. We were lucky that we had good friends and a strong NYC network. We were lucky that her cancer was caught early. We were luck that we could access some of the best US physicians to get her the best care possible. Not everyone is that lucky.
The Livestrong Challenge ride did help…me…in that it gave me something to focus on for a couple of months instead of driving my wife crazy while she was going through surgeries and treatment. But in terms of her treatment and outcome, it didn’t help.
Here’s the ugly secret Livestrong and a lot other medical ailment charities don’t want you to know:
There. Is. No. Santa. Claus.
Hope can be powerful. But facts and knowledge are more powerful.
Knowledge is POWER.
A couple of years ago I had the chance to deal with a major US and international health advocate charity in my professional life. It was a non-cancer related medical charity that massively dwarfed Livestrong’s fundraising. During the course of information gathering, I innocently asked a VP, “So how far away is the research from finding a cure?” The VP looked at me ruefully and said, “There will be no cure. The more we learn, the more complicated the disease and finding a cure becomes. Now we’re shifting from funding cure research to funding disease management technologies and patient care enhancements.”
I was shocked. "There will be no cure."
The VP went on to state that their long-term goal was to aim for the "March of Dimes" model, where once their disease was announced as “cured” (this was an important step in their long term strategy), they would move on to other worthwhile endeavors to keep fundraising going and sustain the “vibrant” organization. This was their self-preservation strategy.
In an interesting way, Livestrong and Lance Armstrong, depending on what happens with various investigations, have fast-tracked their move from funding medical research for a cure to self-perpetuation. It’s move akin to a start-up pivoting and changing business models.
And it’s all about the money.