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Livestrong not about Lance Armstrong, local supporters say

Posted October 17, 2012

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— Famed cyclist Lance Armstrong's resignation as chairman of his cancer-fighting charity won't have an effect on the work local YMCAs do to help those afflicted with the disease, organizers said Wednesday.

"Livestrong is more than one person," said Anthony Hall, with the Livestrong at the YMCA program at Alexander Family YMCA in Raleigh. "It's more than Lance Armstrong. It's the 12 million Americans who are in remission from cancer and the folks going through cancer right now."

The 41-year-old Armstrong, who started the Livestrong Foundation in 1997 after an inspiring comeback from life-threatening testicular cancer, made his announcement Wednesday, saying the move is to "spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career."

The consecutive seven-time winner of the Tour de France was stripped this summer of his championships amid a doping scandal that led the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to also ban him from cycling.

Armstrong, who has strongly denied doping, announced in August that he would not fight the claims, leaving the future of his foundation and its programs in question.

About 115 YMCAs across the nation have Livestrong at the YMCA, a free 12-week program that help cancer patients and cancer survivors fight the disease through health and fitness outside a medical setting.

Livestrong not about Lance Armstrong, local supporters say Livestrong not about Lance Armstrong, local supporters say

"What we're trying to do with Livestrong at the YMCA is help folks come back to a new normal, so they can be with their kids, their spouses and the rest of their family for a lot longer of a time through remission," Hall said.

About 130 people have been helped through the Alexander YMCA.

As far as funding and support goes, Hall said, he believes nothing is in jeopardy.

Having Armstrong as the face of the Livestrong Foundation has helped to boost awareness and raise money for cancer treatment and research, but Ron Hamner, co-founder of the nonprofit Grab My Wheel, says he believes and hopes that Livestrong will continue to be strong.

"It'll be hard for some people not to have a level of disappointment, but it still comes down to, 'Who do you support?'” Hamner said. "Do you support a man or an organization that has made an impact on the lives of millions of people?"

Seven years ago, he and Dave Goodall, both avid cyclists, started Grab my Wheel. Since then, it has raised more than $300,000.

Goodall says his mother was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2002, and not knowing where else to turn, he and his family turned to the Livestrong Foundation.

"We were able to dial in on the Livestrong Foundation and get assistance on education and what paths we needed to follow to help her fight her battle," Goodall said. "Ten years now, to date, her brain tumor is gone, and she's in remission."

"The organization isn't all about Lance," he added. "It's about cancer survivors."

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  • JohnnyRaleigh Oct 22, 2012

    If you don't participate in the sport it is best that the sports fan keep his opinions to himself.

  • westernwake1 Oct 18, 2012

    The evidence makes it obvious that Armstrong not only is guilty of doping, but he led and coordinated the doping efforts. In fact he demanded that anyone on his team who would not dope would be dropped from the team. This type of pressure on athletes is not acceptable - take illegal drugs that cause serious health issues (including cancer) or be dropped. How soon until youth sports adopts this same attitude if we do not stop doping now and make it clear it is unacceptable.

    If anyone still doubts the allegations then they need to go to:
    http://cyclinginvestigation.usada.org/

    and read ALL the pdf documents in the Reasoned Decision and Appendices & Supporting Documents tabs.

    In other news, no fewer than 7 sponsors dropped Armstrong on Wednesday. All of his sponsors are expected to drop him by the end of this week.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/cycling/2012/10/17/lance-armstrong-sponsors-doping-case/1640467/

  • superman Oct 18, 2012

    ykm-- Some of us dont have to use drugs to enhance performance. Very sorry that you have to resort to them.

  • superman Oct 18, 2012

    I worked in a prison for over 20 years and I can count the number of people who admitted they were guilty on one hand (I only have 5 fingers) People do not like to admit their guilt. My Dad told me once "Son, it is hard to believe you are telling the truth when I know if I were in your place I would lie." Keep that in mind when someone tells you and you have reason to believe what they are saying MAY not be true. There is always a cloud of doubt unless the person admits their guilt and he prefers to have that cloud over his head. He is guilty or he would have continued his fight. His fanances are not limited so he has plenty of money.

  • ykm Oct 18, 2012

    Everyone uses drugs to enhance performance.

  • tarheelfan4life2005 Oct 18, 2012

    I personally don't believe he ever did drugs....if so, I think he would have come clean by now....Remember Marion Jones, she finally came clean as did some other athletes, but Lance has always stated he was innocent and I believe him. I have always like Lance Armstrong and I will continue to support him....

  • kikinc Oct 18, 2012

    I never believed in the doping allegations. People can spew allegations all they want. Without hard evidence, I wasn't going to be convinced. Then I read an article about Armstrong's personal masseuse/assistant from the 1990's who alleged that Armstrong had her run to Spain from France to pick up packages from a doctor who has since been involved in a doping scandal. The assistant kept documentation of her trips b/c Armstrong reimbursed her for her troubles. This came out in the USADA's investigation. With this revelation, I feel that if he were truly innocent, he'd still be fighting this. I think he's dirty.

    westernwake-I agree with you. Change the name.

  • superman Oct 17, 2012

    He gave up and now his name is dirty. All he accomplished in cycling is down the drain. He surely knew he was guilty. He doesnt impress me as a person who would give up the fight and quit no matter what the odds.

  • superman Oct 17, 2012

    How about fighting until the end and not giving up?

  • bradleystephengreen Oct 17, 2012

    Sorry superman, it doesn't work that way. The USADA had already decided he was guilty of doping, and gave him the choice of going to arbitration where they would declare him guilty, or skipping the arbitration, and they still declare him guilty. He didn't give up a fight, he didn't have any choice.

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