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.

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. 

Real Men Wear Spandex

July 23, 2010

I’ve done it! Purchased a road bike and have completed my first solo and small group ride. The picture above is moments after my first legitimate ride of any distance (10 miles.) You can clearly see how pleased I am to have done it, there even appears to be a little cockiness in the completion of that ride. If there is? It’s completely momentary, because entering into the world of cycling has been a very interesting road. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve followed cycling. I understand the competitive side of the sport, but actually getting involved in the machinery of it… that’s a completely different story. All of the decisions that need to be made: First: Do you want a road bike, a hybrid, or a mountainbike? Do you want clipped in shoes, (road shoes, mountainbike shoes)? What type of pedals? What type of helmet? So many questions… to the point I felt like I was Jim Carrey’s portrayal of the Riddler in Batman Forever… think back to Edward Nigma repeating to himself “Too many questions… Too many questions.” It can be very overwhelming, but thanks to some great advise and research I settled on a Trek 2.1 bicycle.

This bike so far rides like a dream.  And so far in my first two days of riding I’ve really enjoyed the process. Not necessarily the falling and gaining your balance as you step out of or attempt to step of your clips. Yes, I admit it I have taken the plunge fully attached to my bike on two separate occasions. I think that is probably the most interesting component to get used to, well that and the spandex.

Spandex is a very interesting material and I understand the importance in cycling… something that is aerodynamic, breathable, and padded for all the right spots, but for me who was brought up in a very modest fashion, it’s interesting to wear clothes that, “show-off” your body. I will manage and even at some point get used to it. I’m not saying that I will be wandering around my home on casual days in spandex, but that I think that I will be able to wander around others in spandex soon enough. That comfortablity  certifies for me that men who can feel comfortable in spandex truly are in a class all of their own. It takes a confidence and lack of concern of other’s thoughts, impressions, and humor. 

I think for me I will focus primarily on the fact that cycling and owning my bike will allow me to participate in both the running portion of the Livestrong Challenge and the cycling portion of the Livestrong Challenge, to be held on August 21st and August 22nd respectively at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA.  With that in mind, I can focus on what the importance is… which is raising awareness for cancer research and cancer prevention.

Update on the Livestrong Challenge: At this point: the team has raised 1,285.00, which will hopefully be doubled here in the future and we have a few other surprises coming up in hopes of raising some money.  We are as of this moment at 29 days away from the challenge and there is still time to get involved! Looking forward to seeing you there!

  

Photo courtesy of: http://www.livestrong.org/Take-Action/Team-LIVESTRONG-Events/LIVESTRONG-Challenge-Series/LIVESTRONG-Challenge-Philly 

It’s that time of year again, folks! Hopefully, you have all been getting ready for the biggest LIVESTRONG event in the Philadelphia area, and for that matter on the East Coast!!!! Remember that there are 4 LIVESTRONG Challenges: San Jose, Seattle, Austin, and Philadelphia. You will notice that out of the four only ONE is on the East Coast!

Here are the official details from the official website: LIVESTRONG CHALLENGE Website

“In Philly, on August 21—22, the LIVESTRONG Challenge takes place in the Philadelphia suburb of Blue Bell on the Montgomery County Community College Campus. This year we’ve expanded our Philly event to a 2-day format. Because of the growth of the event, moving the run/walk to Saturday will allow us to welcome more participants and add an additional 10K distance and Post Event Party for our runners and walkers. On Sunday, our riders can enjoy bike rides varying from 10, 20, 45, 75 and 100 mile options. For the first time ever in Philly, enjoy both activities of the LIVESTRONG Challenge.”

 (Me Again:) I’m again looking to put in an effort for one of the two  running portions of the event.  There is a 5k and a 10k. I’m going to do the  10k, unless I can come up with a road bike and start training for the actual ride. If so, I’m going to try and do both! I’m hoping you are looking to participate to do the same and join us or  come back out for another exciting adventure in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. This is a fun day of both exercise, friendship and unity in the fight against cancer. I personally have been involved in this event every year that it has taken place and I’m amazed at how every year this particular event  gets larger and larger.  In addition, I’m hoping that afterwards, we could BBQ or and enjoy the post party events. I’m also thinking T-shirts again as we did last year. Let me know if you’re interested email me at gameoncancer@aol.com! And register here:  Philly Registration

 Also, I believe if the rumour (Yes, I know it’s the british version of rumor. I’m being fancy) is correct that Lance, himself, will be making an appearance at the event, following his conclusion of his last Tour de France.

What’s Next?

August 28, 2009

Now that the Livestrong Challenge Philadelphia has come and gone, the big question remains…. What’s next? 

It seems that since my father’s passing in March, that everything has been geared towards that particularly moment. And now that it has occurred  that we should be finished, but this would demean everything that we have worked for.  I believe that there is still work to be done, maybe not as much for my father, but for others and more importantly  in the spirit of my father. 

What does that mean in the spirit of my father? Well let me give you some insight into the life of my dad. I was fortunate to grow up in a loving home with a stable family.  It was compromised of my mother, Nancy, my father William (Bill), my brother John and me. This isn’t to say that our home was all sunshine and happiness all the time, but that it’s foundation has always been tempered by the greatest materials.  I’ve learned so many great things from my family and a great many of them came from my father.  Of all of  the lessons I’ve learned, I always loved my dad’s unselfish character.  He believed that if you had the ability to help someone it was your responsibility to help them.  More than that, it was simply the right thing to do.

As I grew up, I watched my dad carefully, because he was my hero, my idol, everything I hoped that one day I would embody.   What I witnessed was that were acts of great kindness to total strangers. He gave of himself constantly and in all ways, whether it be, money, clothes, food, a helping hand.  He was always the friendly face to help someone on the side of the road, to bring families (families we didn’t even know) back to our home during holidays to celebrate, because either they had broken down on the side of the road or he had learned that they didn’t have anyone to celebrate with. He did more for his family, but I always was amazed at how giving he was. It is in this vein that I want to continue the fight for my father, because I feel it is my responsibility to fight on to help others, but more importantly it is the right thing to do. My father would expect no less of me and I will not disappoint his memory or my own expectations of myself.

Therefore, to answer the question: What’s Next?  Here is the beginning of my mission statement.  I’m a teacher what do you want from me, I need checklists it makes me feel better:

So with Mission Impossible music playing in the background and I’m talking Peter Graves Mission Impossible not Tom Cruise Mission Impossible… Here’s my mission and I choose to accept it:

1. I will continue to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, I will continue to make strides in cancer awareness, research and aid any all comers that I may through my time or the resources that I find.

2.  I want to continue to organize events to bring people together and raise funds hopefully, in the near future to cross the 10,000.00 mark by October 1st, which means there is very little time left. Also, every year after that I want to increase that amount.

 3.  I want to continue the communication that has begun with some of the people I have met through this site and others, so that we can continue our conversations about cancer,  their personal stories and my own so that our loved ones may live on in our hearts and in our memories. I want to accomplish this because I feel the less you speak of these great people the harder it is to remember their likeness.  However, the more you speak of them, the more “alive” they are, the more you feel that they are with you.

 4. I will continue to challenge myself in running as I have already accepted the challenge to run the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia on May 2, 2010. I have never run a 10 mile race and this will be a huge feat, but I will do the race in support of my friend Scott and his family who have recently been afflicted by the demonic C.  I would love to start a Gameoncancer team for the Broad Street Run! Think about it we have plenty of time to prepare! Broad Street Run Website

5. I will live out everyday in a manner that is fitting to my father’s spirit that supports others and uses every ounce of energy I have.  

I believe that if I can do all of this that I will make a difference in the cancer community, find some continued solace for myself and meet a great deal of people. So here’s my question for you… Who’s with me!? (This is where you start to think of Jerry Maguire) Maybe, I should have made this a Tom Cruise -subliminal post…?

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!

Today, we made the trip over to Montgomery County Community College in nearby Blue Bell, PA to visit the Livestrong Village and collect the racing bibs, and collectable shirts for our team.  The village was absolutely hopping with activity, as the Livestrong Challenge Philadelphia is completely filled! There will be over 6,000 participants! I am floored by the number of people who are going to arrive for this race.  And that doesn’t even include people who are coming just to support those that are participating!

Livestrong Village

Livestrong Village

In attendance, at the Livestrong Village today, were Eddie George (former Heisman Trophy winner) and Chris Carmichael (Lance’s personal trainer). Unfortunately, they happened to leave just as we were exiting the registration tent! Boo… Therefore, my mission is still incomplete. Mission 1.) Grab a picture with Eddie George.  Mission 2.) Run the Livestrong Challenge  Mission 3.) See if I can snag a photo of Fat Cyclist and/or Drew from Blame Drew’s Cancer. 

I might be able to accomplish this last feat at the Livestrong Challenge dinner tonight at Turbine Hall, in Chester, PA.  I’m looking forward to this swanky affair of dining, socializing, and of course discussing the prevention of cancer.  Keynote speakers tonight will be Ethan Zohn of Survivor Fame, Drew of Blame Drew’s Cancer, Lance’s bud, “College,” Elden (Fatcyclist) and the musical stylings of Amos Lee.  Therefore, this should be a personal discussion of the impact of cancer and what we can do to stop it.  After dinner, we will return to sort shirts, and bags for everyone and then for me (blog and post pictures) then to bed! Cause tomorrow will be an early morning!!!! More to come on this post!