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    Posted January 18, 2013 by
    Austin, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Lance Armstrong speaks out

    Students Still Strong


    I am privileged to be a part of a student organization at the University of Texas at Austin that raises money for cancer research programs at MD Anderson and the UT Biomedical Engineering Department as well as the survivorship services at LIVESTRONG. Every year for the past 10 years, a group of crazy students in Austin spend almost two years volunteering, training, planning, and each raising $4,500 for the cause before setting-out on a 4,500-mile bike ride to Anchorage, Alaska. We do this in an effort to blanket North America in a network of cancer fighting warriors. The kids in Texas 4000 provide knowledge from prevention, to treatment, to advocacy all along the way. But this 10-week ride is not just about raising money and educating people. These two organizations are alike in that they offer something much more important to the cause, the unsung purpose behind the fight.


    Nothing gives this community more hope than a group like Texas 4000. The inspiration these students provide to the paitents, doctors, families, researchers, and even to LIVESTRONG is unmatched. Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious and it is the most powerful tool we have in the fight against cancer. In order to chip away at this disease, we don't just need to be looking for a cure, we also need to be working to shine the light into all the dark corners of the disease. That's what the LIVESTRONG Foundation has always been about, lending a helping hand or words of wisdom, or a shoulder to cry on, or a community of peers to those affected by this disease. Cancer can be so scary, and without passionate groups of people like these two down here in Austin, Texas, I personally know of hundreds of people who would be lost.


    Faltering now because of events that we cannot control would be doing a disservice to the millions of people who have come to count on those services and that inspiration for support. LIVESTRONG just celebrated 15 years of unrelenting service, and it will be here 15 years from now, still fighting. That's because of the dedication of its supporters like Texas 4000, a bunch of crazy students pedaling strong across the continent, spreading hope, knowledge, and charity through the darkness and the rain and the despair that this disease has cast over so many.


    I believe in the power of LIVESTRONG, and I look at my wristband every day, because it stands for that fire, that passion that burns inside all the students at UT, the employees and volunteers of LIVESTRONG, and the brave survivors that refuse to give up. Don't forget, cancer is still the enemy. Let's direct our energy and our anger in the right place.

    If you would like toi donate to Texas 4000, or follow my journey please visit http://texas4000.org/user/profile/10454.

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