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OTHER ITA SITES:
Lance Armstrong Takes On Cancer
From the desk of Dr Magne, author of Cancer Free For Life
Lance Armstrong’s legend was born in the mountains—the French Alps which resulted in seven consecutive wins of the Tour de France. And all this after surviving testicular cancer that spread to his brain.
Now, newly retired from cycling, 35-year-old Armstrong has set his sights on Capitol Hill, as he is now followed by the LIVESTRONG army that wears the ubiquitous yellow wristbands. They follow him to fight the battle all of them know too well: cancer.
Armstrong says “the mission is bigger than any seven Tours. If every cancer survivor in this country said, ‘That’s it. I am going to use my vote for or against you,’ it would be the most powerful voting block in the country. It would be overwhelming what kind of change could happen.”
“I am retired and need a new, bigger focus outside my life besides sports, and it’s cancer. I am not going away. It’s time to fight back. It’s a significant time for research with advances in the human genome and proteomics. It’s a great time to do one thing right, and that is to increase funding.”
Armstrong hammers home the number of preventable deaths from cancer through early detection and better screening. “Of the almost 600,000 cancer deaths a year, 200,000 were preventable,” he told the crowd. “We have the technology to cure a lot of people right now but it’s not happening. This is the easy stuff and we should fix it first.”
Catching up with Lance Armstrong for a chat can be challenging at best. While the seven-time Tour de France winner may have retired from cycling last year, he is busier than ever. In addition to his work with the LAF, Armstrong has ongoing commitments with American Century Investments, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dasani, Discovery Channel, Nike and Sirius Satellite Radio.
In California, he has just spoken on a panel at the Milken Institute Global Conference. His panel, entitled, “The New Philanthropists and the Future of Medical Research Funding,” explored ways that private funds can best be used for research in light of the government’s funding decreases. Armstrong talked about creating an army for change, movements in which philanthropists, foundations and average individuals press both society and government to increase funding and efficacy in research.
Now a 10-year survivor of metastatic testicular cancer, Armstrong says that his only reminder comes when he runs his fingers across his scalp and feels the scars from the surgery where metastatic tumors were removed from his brain. Indeed, on days at home much of his time is spent parenting his three children, Luke, 6, and twins Grace and Isabelle, 4, and enjoying the moments all parents enjoy, such as a recent comment from a teacher praising Luke. “You know your kids are special,” he says, “but when the teacher says so, it’s great.”
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