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    Posted January 15, 2013 by
    Austin, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Lance Armstrong speaks out

    LIVESTRONG Not Worth Supporting

    We all know that Lance Armstrong lied. He cheated. And he brought others down with him. That is not in dispute.

    But here’s another thing to know: Livestrong (previously known as the Lance Armstrong Foundation) is not worth supporting. It’s not the great and noble cancer-fighting charity people think it is.

    The Foundation does not fund cancer research. Repeat: It does not fund cancer research. It’s not working toward a cure for cancer or supporting lab scientists or funding clinical trials.

    Its only purpose is what it calls, “survivorship.”

    What is this? You can read this in the Foundation’s annual reports that are available online. Simply put it’s making people feel better about having cancer and directing them to support groups and other activities to help them feel better about having cancer. This is a valuable function, but in the hands of Livestrong it is little more than promoting Lance Armstrong as an inspirational hero and some referral of cancer patients to local support groups.

    And how does the Foundation do this? Primarily it does this by putting forth Mr. Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor and Tour de France winner as a role model of how to survive cancer. It does this by selling bracelets, organizing bike rides, having Armstrong give speeches, having Armstrong tell his story again and again… The bike rides don’t raise money for cancer treatment or research. They raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation so they can have more bike rides and more public appearances by Lance Armstrong.

    The Foundation’s Livestrong at School program is a good example. It doesn’t teach kids how to live healthier, say with diet or exercise, that would decrease their chances of getting some cancers. It does not provide medical information about what cancer is and how it is treated. Nope. It’s simply a curriculum that teaches that Lance Armstrong is a hero because he had a bad disease and he “beat it” and then he won a lot of bike races. It might as well be called the Lance Armstrong is Hero School Program. If that’s how you want your donations to Livestrong spent, then go ahead and keep sending the Foundation your dollars.

    The entire Foundation is a fraud. Not only is it based on the life story of a fraud and liar. The services it offers are mostly a smoke screen.

    The support and “navigation” services that the Foundation offers can be obtained in other places, and obtained much more efficiently. Many other organizations steer cancer patients to support groups. Most of them do it with much smaller overheads than Livestrong, with more personal knowledge of services in a patient’s local area and without being based on a fraudulent story.
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