Still Proud to Wear the Yellow Wristband

I’ve never been a big fan of Lance Armstrong, the athlete.
He’s like the New York Yankees of cycling, and I prefer an underdog.
And now there’s very little light between the “did he or didn’t he” debate about doping.
(Plus, I can’t believe he dumped Sheryl Crow.)

But Lance Armstrong, the cancer survivor, is an inspiration to me.
And I would bet that hundreds of thousands of cancer patients and fellow survivors agree.

Since last week’s “60 Minutes” piece, many are questioning the impact Lance’s personal challenges will have on LIVESTRONG.

Sure, there may be a few tiny blips in the immediate aftermath, but overall, not much will change.

LIVESTRONG is so much more than Lance Armstrong.

It’s a massive grassroots network of people sharing advice and experiences. It’s the campaign that was so successful it spawned a universe of multi-colored wrist bands for causes hoping to capture just a fraction of its power.

It’s the most comprehensive, yet easy-to-use collection of practical resources for patients navigating treatment (test, doctors, options, insurance, etc.) It’s collaboration across silos for research. It’s a focus on living your life during and after treatment.

LIVESTRONG CEO Doug Ulman said it best in a November 2010 Fast Company article: “In the sports world, [Lance] is a very polarizing figure. In cancer, he’s not.”

Lance’s doping scandal won’t take down LIVESTRONG because it isn’t an athlete marketing program—it’s a legit NGO that has the pedigree, track record and credentials to stick around for the long haul.

LIVESTRONG is approachable, empowering and innovative.
It’s an incredible force in the cancer universe and health care writ large.
And people like me will continue to wear a yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet and support the foundation with time and money because it is a source of hope, strength and determination.

Lance started this, but the rest of us survivors make it go now.

Posted on Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 By Tara Greco
Categories  Nonprofit Operations and Communications, Philanthropy and tagged , , , , , ,
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