Now, I know exactly what your thinking…. and No, this isn’t that kind of post… but if you were thinking like I was thinking then you automatically started thinking about this:

Ahhh, yes… old school Double Mint gum commercials. If you thought that commercial was ridiculous you should go to Youtube and check out the rest of them, because they are hysterical. My favorite at the moment is this one:

Now, I didn’t send you here just to look at Doublemint gum commercials. It just happens to be one the big benefits of coming to by blog of randomness from time to time. The purpose of today’s post is to ask you donate to the LiveSTRONG foundation.  This is where you immediately start thinking of the millions of other things that you would rather be doing right now or that you cannot be bothered by this whole idea, or that you’ll get around to it later. Let me outline a few reasons why I think this is a worthwhile donation and overall how it relates to the Doublemint commercials. 

Why you should donate:

1st: The donation to the Livestrong Charity is a donation to aid the 28 million people currently fighting the disease. 

2nd: It is a donation to try to end the number 1 global killer and the number 2 killer in the United States:

3rd: In terms of money raised, The Lance Armstrong Foundation provides more money to actual cancer programming on a percentage basis than is used for any other “expense.” The foundation raised 32 million dollars in 2008 and its administrative costs were just over 1 million dollars. To put this into perspective the Livestrong Foundation provides more money on a percentage basis to cancer research then  the American Cancer Society:

This is where you say, “Prove it!” and I say, “Bring it on!”  Here’s the proof. An independent, non-profit organization named Charity Navigator, which also works like the Better Business Bureau and American Institute of Philanthropy (which also have ratings and guides that you may use to find out how charities use the money you donated) have rated the Livestrong Foundation as a higher donor to programs as compared to the American Cancer Society. 

Check it for yourself: Charity Navigator

4th: Most importantly for this post and the reason for the title is that whatever money is donated by the Game on, cancer team will be doubled through the kind workings of Pfizer, INC.  That means if you donate 5 dollars it will actually be 10 dollars. And because of number 3 more of that money will go to cancer programming!

5th: Remember your donations are tax-deductible! Our government and the fine folks at Internal Revenue Service actually admire the fact that you provide money to charities and cut you some slack on your tax returns!

6th: Are you aware that we are slowly moving to a point where nearly 50% of the population will have cancer in their lifetime. Wouldn’t it be better to start working on a cure now, rather than to wait for you to develop the disease and then think about how you should have done so from the start?

Why you think you shouldn’t donate:

1st: I don’t have enough time: Honestly – It takes 5 minutes, actually probably less Donation Page .  Look I’ve even given you a link to a donation page!

2nd: I’ve already donated: Listen so have I… and donating money that can be doubled is like donating 3 times. If you’re like me, I can’t turn down girl scouts and their cookies or the Salvation army when they are outside the mall… why turn down cancer patients?

3rd: With all of the turmoil around Lance Armstrong, I feel that I’m donating my money to a “villain” or a potential villain.  Trust me: There are few people more than I who will be any less devastated by a confirmation against Lance Armstrong, but I’ve been thinking about this and the more I think about it the more I can look past the cycling career and focus on the fact that this man and his recovery from cancer is still an incredible thing and the message that he puts out is positive about ending a disease that will ravage many of us in the years to come. Here’s my history lesson for the day: How many of us go to Rockefeller Center, go to libraries, colleges, and other educational facilities created by Andrew Carnegie.   How many of you use Windows – remember the story is that Bill Gates sacrificed his partner to take it over himself and now he is promoting the return of half of his fortune to charity. He’s also convincing other billionaires to do the same! The funds for those good endeavours came from the exploitation of millions of workers at the profit of those business tycoons, but yet we do not dare tear those structures down, because now they are viewed as positives in our community. I’m not promoting cheating (if in fact Lance is guilty) but I am promoting the message – The idea to overcome a challenge that seems insurmountable, the idea of promoting positive symbolism to take down cancer, the image of strength in knowledge and power of knowledge to take down a disease that threatens us all. I am for that.

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One Last Stand

July 26, 2010

Yesterday ended an era.  Lance Armstrong, the 7-time champion of the Tour de France stood on the podium for one last time. The image was not nearly the same as it had been in years passed, the solitary figure, alone, wearing the Maillot Jaune (the Tour’s General Classification Champion), but it was Armstrong  surrounded by the members of his Radioshack Team each wearing  a customized black Radioshack Kit with the number 28 inscribed on the back and the name of each rider in yellow font.  This moment is the perfect finale to Lance’s career.  

Team Classification Presentation

Team Classification Presentation

 

Photo from the following link: Presentation Photo from Team Radioshack website 

Here Lance is surrounded by a team of individuals all working for the good of the whole, but at the same time working for each of the individuals within the team. The symbolism is breathtaking.  Each of these men was wearing a jersey that represented the 28 million people who are currently living with cancer. Each of those individuals fighting cancer feels isolated as they remain locked in their personal battle with cancer, but at the same time they are surrounded by a team of family members, friends, neighbors, nurses, doctors, and other medical practitioners each working for the good of the whole, but at the same time fulfilling their individual roles, similar to that of a cycling team. Each individual allows the darkness and bleakness of the disease to enter their minds at some point thinking of the grim possibilities, but their remains a light of hope in bright yellow rays that illuminates new cures, treatments, and possibilities. Therefore, the design of these kits with their black coloring and yellow lettering illustrates this concept and also, the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  

The questionable jerseys?

 

The link for the above photo: 28 Jersey Photo and article 

Team Radioshack’s finish also highlights an increase in cycling’s popularity  in the United States, as many Americans, became aware of cycling by hearing of the dominating performance of “the Boss” and his US Postal compatriots later Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team.  Now Americans are aware of names such as Levi Leipheimer, George Hincapie, David Zabriske, Chris Horner, Ivan Basso, Alberto Contador, Roberto Heras, Victor Hugo Pena, Viatcheslav Ekimov, Yaroslav Popovych, Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton.  As American’s involvement in cycling rose so too did their involvement in understanding cancer and battling it as a collective. 

Lance Armstrong may have appeared to be on  his trek as an individual champion, but in reality he led the rest of us into a deeper understanding of cycling and cancer,  both of which have the ability to reward the individual, but are based upon the combined efforts of the individual and the team that surrounds them. Therefore, the ending in Paris even though not what many (myself included) may have wanted was probably more perfectly suited to the analogy of the cycling and cancer movement. 

Side Note: Did you know that the organizers of the Tour de France fined Team Radioshack for wearing the black jerseys at the beginning of the final stage and threatened to disqualify them. The fine was approximately $6,000.  The organizers did say; however, this money would be donated to cancer research. 

Honoring Cancer Combatants

January 17, 2010

Tonight, the Hollywood Foreign Press honored a recent cancer combatant when they awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Drama to Michael C. Hall.  Michael C. Hall is the lead actor in Showtime’s hit drama, Dexter.

Dexter is a series that depicts the life of a seriel killer, portrayed by Hall, who uses his particular homicidal talents to execute other criminals.  This is a fascinating premise, as the writers and actors of this show ask society to root on a sociopath for the betterment of society.  This creates a nice moral grey area.

What isn’t a moral grey area is the celebration of this particular actor’s professional skills and his battle with Hodkins Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s immune system.  This disease is considered highly treatable with potential for full recovery. Michael C. Hall’s particular battle and treatment are moving ahead and he is reported as being in remission. 

Michael C. Hall enters an arena with other major cancer combatants who have battled cancer and gone on to do amazing things either in their field or in another field following their diagnosis and battle with cancer.  Other great individuals are: Lance Armstrong (7 time Tour de France winner, and co-founder of the Lance Armstrong Foundation), Jon Lester (Red Sox pitcher – pitched a no-hitter), Mark Herzlich (Boston College player), Sean Swarner (climbed Mount Everest) and the list continues. 

These are just some of the great things that these people have accomplished, but what I like to think about is the possibilities that people who are not athletes, or celebrities might accomplish as they surpass their cancer diagnosis, or the cancer diagnoses of loved ones. I’m looking forward to the possibilities and hopefully the stories that those people put forth.  Are there any stories that you can think of that fit this particular bill?

The Race Across the Sky!

October 25, 2009

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity as a surprise birthday present (Thank you, Leigh) to go see the documentary, The Race Across the Sky.  This is a beautifully crafted film about the Leadville Trail 100.  Leadville is a grueling century mountain bike race in Leadville, Colorado.  It is a physically demanding ride, due to both the course, which travels across mountainous overpasses, flat roads and treacherous downhills and the conditions, which include high elevation, limited air, rain, sleet, and hail.  So grueling is the course that there is even a portion of the trail that most mountain bikers carry their bikes back up! 

The film does a wonderful job of telling the story of not only why the race was created, which was basically to save the small municipality of Leadville after the mines had closed, but also….

Tangential Brief history of Leadville (skip ahead if not interested): Leadville historically was a silver and gold mining town, but was also rich in Mollybdenite.  The Climax mine, which I believe was the primary source of revenue and jobs for the town closed, it created a major detriment for the town.  They needed to figure out how to survive and thus began the Leadville Trail 100. 

 … they did a wonderful job of setting the stage for the epic race of  Lance Armstrong v. Dave Wiens.  Lance Armstrong, 7 time Tour de France Champion and one time World Road Race Champion, versus Dave Wiens, six time and defending champion of the Leadville Trail 100.  This was a rematch of the 2008 Leadville Trail 100, in which Wiens had vanquished his “second” Tour de France winner (the first being Floyd Landis and Lance the second.)  Here’s the article written in the New York Times about Wiens’ victory over Lance.  Leadville Victory.  This year’s (2009) edition of the  challenge would be completely different for the now 45 year old mountain biker and father of three, would be taking on a fresh off the Tour de France (3rd overall) Lance Armstrong.  This race was all that anyone would expect… monumental, and often throughout the film, you found yourself rooting for Dave Wiens, even though you found no fault if Lance were to win.

The only part of the film that was better than the storyline of the Gunnison Gunslinger (Wiens) v. The Ultimate Assassin (Armstrong) was the vinettes of other racers who have overcome horrendous odds for the opportunity to ride in this particular race.  I say opportunity because the race is limited to 1400 participants.  By the time it ends you are left with the beautiful sights of Leadville, Colorado and the voice over of Bob Roll (noted Hall of Fame cyclist and play-by-play commentator on Versus.  I’m eager to see how the exposure of this race by the film aides the town and the race itself.  To paraphrase Lance on the topic, I hope this becomes one the great challenges of people’s lives.  That they add the Leadville Trail 100 to their list of lifetime challenges!

[clearspring_widget title=”The Amazing Story Of Mark Herzlich – ESPN VIDEO” wid=”4988ad4af3803368″ pid=”4ac76f97944f09a5″ width=”384″ height=”216″ domain=”widgets.espn.go.com”]

 

This is a great video about Mark Herzlich – Linebacker for Boston College and the relationship he devloped from an inspirational source! Plus, I figured my absence over the last few days means I should post some extra things for you all to see! After you watch this particular video, there are some messages from Lance Armstrong, Jon Lester, and Butch Davis.  I would also check those out, they are touching as well.

LiveSTRONG DAY

October 3, 2009

Livestrong 10-2.jpg

 

Even though this post is a day late, I think it’s appropriate to talk about yesterday, anyway. I’m going to try and encapsulate the whole day and the meaning behind it as best I can.

10/2/1996 was the day that Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer and his life changed.  Now for those of you who dislike Lance, you are entitled to dislike the man, but you  need to look beyond the competitive cycling aspect of his life and view the symbol that he has become to the cancer community.  He has a become an icon of hope, positive thinking, and most importantly a proactive style of battling cancer.  Lance’s tranformation into this being began on 10/2 with his diagnosis, but at the same time it began a monumental push for cancer to become a national and an international priority.  10/2, also, has become a rallying point for others to follow, not necessarily to recognize Lance, but a day to focus energies and efforts for government leaders to recognize the mass impact that cancer has.   

10/2, also, represents a key moment in every cancer patient’s life.  It has the potential to be their best and worst day.  For some that day is a beginning to accomplish the tasks they have never dreamed to attempt, to say the things that they never thought to say, and to fight like they never knew they were capable of fighting.  For those that survive their personal diagnosis day, becomes a celebration of life, a second birthday. 

However, the personal diagnosis date could be the worst day, because it might symbolize an end that is unexpected, undesired and often unfair. For those left behind that day becomes a day of remembrance, a painful moment that can’t be erased, a painful reminder of a presence that can’t be filled, an ever-existing void. For me I look at the personal diagnosis day as a rallying point to reinforce my own drive to help others, but still I sometimes can’t escape, my own feelings of anger, frustration and isolation.  It is a struggle and it must be and will be overcome.

Yesterday, however, was an interesting mix for me personally. Professionally, it was Lee Denim Breast Cancer Awareness day, so I was proudly sporting my jeans in support of “Saving the Ta-Ta’s” and wearing a yellow button-down shirt in support of “LiveSTRONG” day! Personally, I was struggling with the above emotions, because a dear friend of mine received wonderful news that her parent was having success fighting a very scary form of cancer. I am thrilled for both of them, but it tangles that nice web of emotions where I simply feel alone with what has taken place. I don’t want anyone to lose anyone, but it is very isolating to hear about all the positive news for others.  It just solidifies the inequity in the disease and how unfair the results are. The feeling of loneliness is sometimes overwhelming in fact, I can feel it fill my throat, it makes it hard to breathe.  Those feelings are what make it important for me and others to throw our support behind causes like LiveStrong Day to gain national attention and eliminate these feelings for others. 

LIVESTRONG CHALLENGE!!!

August 25, 2009

The evening preceding the Livestrong Challenge , myself and  the majority of the muckity-mucks of Game on Cancer (G.o.C.) went to the Livestrong Challenge reception dinner.  Very swanky and a great deal of fun, but as I left the dinner and delivered my faithful companions to there point of departure, the pressures of the next morning set in.  I started to panic about everything, would everyone make it in the morning, did I run enough, did I have enough water and did I have everyone’s shirts in the proper bag with the proper bib numbers. Then it crossed my mind did I have safety pins for the bibs? Seriously? I was stressed about safety pins! Not only was I stressed about safety pins, I decided that at 12:00 AM, the day of the race that I better go out and get them. I drove to the local ACME. CLOSED @ Midnight.  I drove to the local GIANT, where I was greeted by a slew of workers out smoking (Ironic, I’m flying around for safety pins for a Cancer run/walk/ride and there are 10 guys working who are all smoking.) These guys informed me that they were…. CLOSED, but that the other GIANT which is 4 miles down the road was open.  I drove there found my safety pins, picked up some water and drove back to my house. I, also, drove over to my friend Steve’s house and woke him up out of a sound sleep, which was pretty hysterical.  Why did I do this? It’s not because I enjoy tormenting people in their sleep, even though I do. It’s because he and I were carpooling to the race so, he was supposed to stay with me  (in a totally we’re buddies sleep-over.) After arriving at the house, I downed some water and then tried to sleep.  I was extremely unsuccessful for almost three hours.  I just couldn’t sleep. I don’t know if it was the adrenaline of the next day, or the stress of everything going on, but either way I just kept tossing and turning.  There was no sleep to be had. Eventually, I finally passed out and woke up before my alarm, which was set for 5:00 AM.  Yes, that means I slept for less than 2 hours! Disappointment. The day; however, could only get better from there.

Woke up and drove over to Montgomery County Community College (the location for Livestrong Philly and met up with the majority of the Kappy Kid’s team, dished out shirts and babbled until the start of the race.

When the horn blew, I was off, bobbing and weaving through the crowd moving to the 1st mile mark. I checked my watch I ran it in an eight minute mile pace. The second and third mile, I was running fine, but I could feel it in my body that it wasn’t as easy as it should have been, so I dropped gears to ensure that I was going to finish the race in stride.  Looking back on that I’m disappointed, I should have pushed further. I would have been fine! I finished the race on my watch at approximately 26 minutes, but that’s from the sound of the horn not necessarily the starting line. It took a little time to get to the beginning, thanks to throngs of people.  My time was not a goal. It should have been and will be next year, but completion of the challenge was. To recap my goals for this year were the following:

1.) Run the race = I ran the race in 26 minutes = CHECK

2.) Get a picture with Fat Cyclist and/or Drew from Blame Drew’s Cancer. I got a picture withFat Cyclist (see previous post entitled Livestrong Challenge Eve Part 2 of 2) and I got a picture of Drew so I’m counting it. Therefore, CHECK!

and finally,

3.) Get a picture with Eddie George (former Heisman Trophy winner and Tennessee Titan. Also, number 22 on the all time rush list.)  Hmmm… This might be tricky…

I didn’t know how this was going to happen, but if all else failed, I was prepared to wait around until Noon, when he would be doing an appearance for Nissan at the Nissan tent in the Livestrong Village. No matter what happened I was going to finish my challenge.

As I stood talking with members of my team, I happened to look up and all of a sudden, Eddie George was walking right to me.  I extended my hand, introduced myself and after a near panic attack about finding a camera (which fortunately for me Lauren (my old roommate) had her camera phone) and we captured this photo:

Eddie George and Dave = Mission Accomplished

Eddie George and Dave = Mission Accomplished

Therefore, CHECK! Three missions set and three missions accomplished. By the way, in this picture you know what looks good, besides the studly men in it (hopefully, you know I’m being sarcastic on my part at least)?  The t-shirts. [Voice of Kool-Aid Man] “Oh yeah!” Those are some mighty fine shirts! Better yet, here’s my underwear model pose to show off the team shirts:

Dave modeling the stylish Game On Cancer t-shirts and the Livestrong Hat!

Dave modeling the stylish Game On Cancer t-shirts and the Livestrong Hat!

 A better example of how the shirts look may be found on the team: Gratuitous Team photo:

Team Photo! That team is Outstanding!

Team Photo! That team is Outstanding!

We’re missing a few people from this team photo, but it is a good photo. Most of the people on the team ran, except long time childhood friend, Nick who biked 45 miles! Everybody dominated their race. We finished our race experience with some good food, good tunes (as their were some great bands playing), and of course some good beverages. There was even a celebratory champagne toast afterwards.  

Overall, the event was a meaningful day to pay tribute to those that have passed from cancer, to those that have survived cancer, to those that have cancer and to everyone who cares for any of the above.  It was a fine day for commarderie, awareness and activism.

For me personally, it was a day to pay tribute to my father, to remember everything that he means to me and to remind myself how devastating it was to lose him. It furthermore reaffirmed my mission and motivation to continue to champion cancer awareness. Equally important, was that this day was humbling, because I can not even begin to describe the amount of thanks that need to be expressed to the people who donated, to the team for coming out, to everyone who wished us well and of course to the (G.o.C High Command: Leigh, Lauren, Jon, Lucy, and Nick.) Their efforts have been instrumental to the success of the overall day and the experience. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event. I do need to point out that this year’s fundraising is not finished, we still have until October 1st and I would love to move our team number to 10,000.00. We are so close!!!! Currently we sit at $8,168.00. More events to be announced soon. But for now, I feel like this:

Team Member passed out from the excitement and events!

Team Member passed out from the excitement and events!

Good night, all! I’m heading to bed. I have an early morning of team meetings for our new school year!