Letter: Livestrong matters, with or without Armstrong

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Fifteen years ago Livestrong began. Since then, the foundation has raised nearly $500 million to serve people affected by cancer and 2.5 million people have benefited from the foundation’s resources and services. The Livestrong Cancer Navigation Center provides a range of free services for anyone affected by cancer.

My involvement with Livestrong began in the spring of 2004 with the purchase of a yellow wristband, just months after my last round of chemotherapy. I believe in the “obligation of the cured,” the idea that those of us fortunate enough to survive our cancer diagnosis should help others do the same. Livestrong has provided many opportunities for my obligation; including attending lobby days in Washington urging our elected officials to invest in cancer research, prevention programs, and making cancer the national priority we deserve.

The recent Livestrong Challenge in Austin, Texas, raised $1.7 million and the 4,300 participants made it the largest cycling event in city history. Riding across the rolling hills of Texas I often pulled up alongside other cancer survivors to congratulate them. I heard story after story of how Livestrong helped them with treatment concerns, insurance issues, fertility options or emotional support.

Through Livestrong, cancer has become a national and global priority transforming the way people talk and think about this disease. It is no longer the goal of someone diagnosed with cancer to just live. I’ve worn my yellow wristband every minute since that day in 2004 and I don’t intend taking it off anytime soon.

Jeff Bennett