About three years ago I had the opportunity to interview the CEO of LIVESTRONG, Doug Ulman. At the time, I was in my second year of a masters degree at the Clinton School of Public Service and Doug was there to give a speech about the role of LIVESTRONG and their efforts in the battle against cancer.
During the interview, he told me about his journey of being a college soccer player and getting diagnosed with cancer…subsequently beating it. However, it was a battle, and through that battle he decided to start the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (http://www.ulmancancerfund.org), which continues to make a tremendous difference in the lives of others.
After finishing our conversation, it was time for his speech, and he started with a quick exercise that had people stand based on their level of being affected by cancer. After asking about three questions, the entire room was standing, and in essence, everyone had a connection to the same battle…everyone was affected by cancer.
Today is October 2nd, LIVESTRONG Day. The date is significant because Lance Armstrong was told he had cancer on this day 16 years ago. But more important to cancer survivors is the fact that one year later, Lance Armstrong decided to start an organization committed to battling this horrible disease.
Fifteen years later, LIVESTRONG has become an amazing organization with a global reach. They have affected millions through action and advocacy. In addition to giving a tremendous amount of money to research, they also give a tremendous amount of time to people. Their manifesto begins with, “We believe in life. Your Life.” (http://tinyurl.com/26jgp6o)
My experience with LIVESTRONG is that everyday is “gameday” because someone, somewhere is battling, and in that battle you need support. LIVESTRONG provides it.
At BowTie Cause, we’ve been privileged to work with LIVESTRONG in many capacities and I know Dhani is proud to be a LIVESTRONG Global Envoy. However, he is even prouder to share the story about his good friend Kunta, who battled and beat cancer…a survivor.
Whether you are directly affected or not, today is a day to celebrate survivorship and also a day to continue that “head down keep peddling” approach…continuing to battle and continuing to LIVESTRONG.