Lance’s Fight to Cure Cancer will Keep Going Strong

Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Purchio

The Lance Armstrong story will be written off by many as a fairy tale that came true only to end as both tragedy and farce.

But for millions of cancer patients, now and future, the reality remains one of success and hope, regardless of their hero’s shocking fall from grace.

Wednesday, nearly two months after he gave up the fight against doping charges that cost him unequaled honors in international cycling, Armstrong relinquished the chairmanship of his Livestrong foundation and lost Nike as a sponsor.

He will continue on the board of the cancer-fighting organization inspired by his rise from cancer patient to seven-time winner of the grueling Tour de France.

Armstrong owes his testicular cancer cure to physicians at Indiana University School of Medicine, and he has had special impact on efforts to raise the profile of treatment and recovery of an affliction once considered a death sentence. Cancer survivor Cindi Hart was moved by his example to establish Spokes for Hope, an organization that raises money and awareness for cancer patients largely by demonstrating they can lead active lives.

Hart told The Star’s Shari Rudavsky she is “frustrated” by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency‘s “bullying” of Armstrong; and Armstrong himself insists he never used performance-enhancing drugs. The USADA maintains he masterminded an elaborate doping scheme; and the USADA has had the last word, stripping the star of all his titles, banning him for life from competition and slamming him in the pocketbook.

Livestrong, whose support and structure are much more than one man, will continue its vital work. The founder, we are confident, will be part of it. Leaving the fight against a sports sanctioning agency sends a disillusioning signal to a public that receives too many of them. But staying in the fight against cancer shines a light all its own, and it is brighter than stardom. In the life-and-death test of courage and teamwork that he has faced for more than a decade, the tarnished star can be called a true-life hero.

Republished from the Indianapolis Star

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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