LIVESTRONG Day Raises Awareness of Cancer

Today is LIVESTRONG Day, the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s one-day initiative to unite people affected by cancer in raising awareness of cancer issues on a global level and in communities across the country. All across the world several individuals are raising awareness and showing their support for cancer survivors and their loved ones in their communities. Visit LIVESTRONG Action to find an event in your area.

Not coincidentally, October 2 happens to be the day Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer.

Upcoming Dempsey Challenge Already a Success

Dempsey Challenge 275The inaugural Demspey Challenge is less than a week away. Maine in the fall surely adds appeal to this charity event, which benefits the Demspey Challenge benefits The Patrick Demsey Center fo Cancer Hope & Healing located at Central Maine Medical Center. The Dempsey Center opened nine months ago, making the Challenge its biggest fundraiser since its inception.

The Dempsey Challenge features four cycling routes of 10, 25, 50 and 100 miles and a 5k run/walk. People definitely haven’t been shy about getting active, as organizers have already had to cap registration at 3,500 people. [Read more…]

News Bytes: Catching Up On the Week’s Stories

The 24 Hours of Booty tops this week’s news bytes. The official 24 hour cycling event of the Lance Armstrong Foundation is getting some help from NASCAR driver and avid cyclist Bobby Labonte. After the jump, we’ve got bytes on LeBron James, Brandon Webb, Diego and others.

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24 Hours of Booty: 24 Hours of Booty, which runs the Official 24-Hour Cycling Event of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the only 24-hour road cycling charity event in the country, has partnered with NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte’s Breaking Limits marketing agency to help acquire new corporate partnerships. Labonte: “I’m an avid cyclist, and a supporter of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and LIVESTRONG campaign, so the 24 Hours of Booty rides truly align with what I believe in and support” (24 Hours of Booty).

Take the jump to read more of this week’s bytes. [Read more…]

Olympic Cyclist Chris Hoy Tapped as Scotland’s First Ambassador for Mental Health

Chris Hoy

In Scotland, Angus Howarth reports that Olympic Gold Medal-winning cyclist Chris Hoy has been named named as Scotland’s first ambassador for mental health.

Hoy “will give his backing” to the mental health charity SAMH. The organization hopes Hoy “will help break down the stigma that surrounds mental health issues.”

Hoy: “Mental health and physical health work hand in hand. While achieving three gold medals in Beijing was made physically possible by years of training, my mental health was critical to realising my dream. Everyone needs to appreciate the importance of good mental health, and know how to stay mentally healthy” (Angus Howarth, The Scotsman, 2/12). Read Howarth’s entire piece from The Scotsman

Photo credit: Chris Hoy :: The Official Website

Childress Gets Tribute Award; Lance Supports Tobacco Ban; Joyner in Tampa

Richard Childress

NASCAR team Owner Richard Childress accepted the North Carolina Motorsports Association’s Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award on Monday at the third annual NCMA industry awards ceremony in Concord, N.C.

Childress was recognized for his accomplishments in motorsports, his compassion and philanthropic efforts off the track, and for his individual integrity and character (NCMA).

Lance Armstrong: The AP’s Jim Vertuno reports that cycing Lance Armstrong scheduled today “to appear at a news conference to release public polling data showing widespread support for a ban on smoking in public places.” The bill “would ban smoking in all public and indoor workplaces, including restaurants and bars.”

Armstrong: “This is an issue of people’s rights. Nobody’s saying you can’t smoke a cigarette, but you don’t have to do it around me and my kids” (Jim Vertuno, AP, 1/29). Read the entire AP piece

Seth Joyner: Retired NFL player Seth Joyner, who spent time with the Arizona Cardinals, hosted The Par and Poker Celebrity Challenge for Charity today in Tampa. The event consisted of two parts: an 18-hole golf tournament and a No Limit Texas Hold’em Poker tournament.

The event benefits the Joyner-Walker Foundation, a Phoenix-based charity co-founded by Joyner that is dedicated to providing life skill programs to assist high school and college students in a way to prosper and be self sufficient (Joyner-Walker Foundation).

Photo credit: Richard Childress Racing

24 Hours of Booty’s Lueders Awarded with “Unsung Hero Award” in Charlotte

24 Hours of Booty

24 Hours of Booty President Spencer Lueders received the “Unsung Hero Award” from Leadership Charlotte. Lueders runs the Official 24-Hour cycling event of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the only 24-hour road cycling charity event in the country. A graduate of Leadership Charlotte Class XXIX, Lueders accepted the honor at the Legacy Awards held on November 8 in Charlotte. Leadership Charlotte is a community leadership development organization, operates a ten-month program in which participants meet with community leaders, are exposed to major issues impacting the region, and address community needs in a hands-on manner (Leadership Charlotte).

Roy Williams: In Raleigh, Robbi Pickeral notes that University of North Carolina men’s basketball coach Roy Williams took part in a charity event before the Maui Invitational began today. Williams and the head coaches of the seven other schools in the tournament “shot free throws with local youths for charity after Sunday morning’s news conference; the funds went to local schools” (Robbi Pickeral, Raleigh News & Observer, 11/24).

Something to Talk About: Armstrong, McCarthy Hosting Charity Poker Event

Lance Armstrong is teaming up with Jenny McCarthy to host Ante Up for Autism this Friday night in California. The poker event will benefit TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), which provides information, resources, and support to families affected by autism.

In addition to Armstrong, other sports celebrities participating include retired NFL QB Jim Everett, skateboarders Tony Hawk and Ryan Scheckler, mountain biker Brian Lopes, and Supercross racer Jeremy McGrath (TACA).

Cancer Awareness Strategy Part of Lance Armstrong’s Decision to Return to Cycling

Armstrong Discusses Return to Cycling (0:46)

Lance Armstrong: “I have decided to return to professional cycling in order to raise awareness of the global cancer burden. This year alone, nearly eight million people will die of cancer worldwide. Millions more will suffer in isolation, victims not only of the disease but of social stigma. After the passage of Proposition 15 in Texas, a $3 billion investment in the fight against cancer which is helping to make this disease part of the national dialogue in America, it’s now time to address cancer on a global level.”

Armstrong will discuss his cycling program and an international LIVESTRONG strategy on September 24 in New York City at the Clinton Global Initiative (LIVESTRONG).

LIVESTRONG Day Makes a Big Impact Across U.S.

LIVESTRONG Day 2008 (5:01)

The video is from this year’s LIVESTRONG Day. On May 13th, the Lance Armstong Foundation held more than 620 events across the country in hopes to make an impact in how the public views this disease.

2008 Time 100 Most Influential Includes Five Athletes

In this year’s Time 100: The World’s Most Influential People, LPGA player Lorena Ochoa, retired tennis star Andre Agassi, sprinter Oscar Pistorious, cycling great Lance Armstrong and soccer star Kaka are featured.

Ochoa: Nancy Lopez writes that “when you meet her for the first time, you experience a remarkable warmth and modesty.” Lopez adds, “Early in her career, Lorena recognized the opportunity to use her fame to improve education and reduce drop-out rates in her country. She first created a self-named foundation and subsequently funded an elementary school called La Barranca in her hometown. The school, which uses music, theater and other non-traditional learning tools to keep students engaged, will soon be joined by an adjacent high school.”

Agassi: Andy Roddick writes: “I was shocked that a person who has set such a high bar for athletic philanthropy still felt like he could do more. But that is Andre. There are most likely plenty of kids at Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy … who have never watched a match of his. I promise you that Andre could not care less. He would rather be viewed as the man who gives them dreams and opportunities.”

Pistorious: Pistorious is trying to qualify for the Beijing Olympic Games despite being an amputee, and Erik Weihenmayer writes that Pistorious is “on the cusp of a paradigm shift in which disability becomes ability, disadvantage becomes advantage. Yet we mustn’t lose sight of what makes an athlete great. … It’s what one does with those gifts, the hours devoted to training, the desire to be the best, that is at the true heart of a champion.”

Armstrong: Elizabeth Edwards writes, “He inspired all of us who face a cancer diagnosis to search out the doctors who believe that we can live, to hold on to those friends and family who stand beside our bed—and then to fight to prove the faith of those friends and the beliefs of those doctors well founded.”

Kaka: Kasey Keller notes that in 2004, Kaka “became the U.N. World Food Program’s youngest ambassador. And he is devoted to his faith. An evangelical Christian, Kaka has talked publicly about becoming a minister when he retires from the game.” Keller: “in an age in which many professional athletes care more about cars, women and controversy, it’s refreshing to see one who is committed to having a positive impact on the world around him” (Time, 5/12 issue).

Armstrong Interviewed on Austin PBS Station

Lance Armstrong appeared on Austin’s KLRU-PBS program “Texas Monthly Talks” this past Sunday to discuss his work with the Lance Armstrong Foundation and ongoing lobbying efforts in his home state of Texas.

Click Here to watch the interview.

For more information on the Lance Armstrong Foundation, please visit www.livestrong.org.

LIVESTRONG Forum Takes On Prez Candidates

The LIVESTRONG Presidential Cancer Forum took place last month in Iowa. Lance Armstrong joined co-host Chris Matthews to challenge 2008 Presidential candidates to tell how they would fight cancer if elected President of the United States of America.

For more information the Lance Armstrong Foundation, please visit www.livestrong.org.