One month before I was to run the Honolulu Marathon in 2008, I discovered a lump on my testicle that, after a month of tests and drugs, would be removed and revealed to be cancerous. I would undergo chemo and spend tens of thousands of dollars over the next four years for surgeries, scans, and doctor visits.
Never mind the expense and debt you go into, there are huge psychological traumas of going through this. If you don't understand, I can send you a picture.
I had my surgery one week before the marathon and obviously, I didn't run. In fact, I couldn't walk like a normal person for nearly three months after the surgery, because they cut you in your upper leg to remove the testicle.
As soon as I was diagnosed, I bought Lance Armstrong's book, "It's Not About the Bike," in which he chronicled his battle with cancer and the rise of the Livestrong Foundation,
I was (still am) a member of the Livestrong community. For the first year after my surgery and chemo, I used it to learn about what happens when you have NO immune system, and how being around sick people could literally kill you. I learned about acupuncture for the nausea. Many people supported and checked up on me during my first year, and in turn, I became the person that people looked to later for experience and support.
Because I didn't get to run the Honolulu Marathon and because I had blogged about my experience and training, I was asked to join the prestigious Livestrong Team for the NYC Marathon the following fall. Because of those who supported me, I raised nearly thousands of dollars for Livestrong. The run would fall on the one year anniversary to the date of when I found the lump.
I trained, but my IT band in my leg went out at mile 10 in Brooklyn (damn Brooklyn) and I was not able to finish the race. (A year later, I would train again and run my final marathon in Honolulu with my friends, Zen Gray, Catie Boles, Will Finley, and Shannon Speaker.)
I continue to use the Livestrong website for items like nutrition and health.
I don't care what Lance Armstrong: The Cyclist did. Sure, I'm disappointed he used drugs that were illegal and it was fun to cheer someone on who was a champion and giant, who fought a disease and inspired many others to fight as well.
He lied. He admitted it. He went on OPRAH. Get over it. "He didn't show any remorse." Need I roll out a laundry list of politicans who have cheated, lied, or killed people? Need I bring up things I know personally about YOU that are less than stellar? He just cheated on a bigger scale.
Lance Armstrong: The Humanitarian built an invaluable organization. He has raised awareness and educated millions of people. Livestrong is a community that is there for people going through cancer, when the ones closest to them, don't know what to do or what to say.
It's NOT about the bike. Livestrong is bigger than one man.
So if you want your dollar back for your yellow bracelet, send me your address and I will send you a dollar.
But if you want to attack Lance Armstrong, you're going to have to go through me first. And you can start by sucking my ball.