In just under 48 hours, we will send off the 100-mile riders in the inaugural LIVESTRONG Challenge Seattle. By 7:00 am on Sunday morning, there will be close to 2,300 riders, runners, and walkers lined up at the starting gate, ready to take the Challenge. Some will be there just for the ride, not knowing that the energy of the experience will draw them to this particular event for years to come. Others will be there in celebration of life, many having just finished some form of treatment themselves, others celebrating the life of a friend or loved one. And too many will be participating in memory of someone they love.
Cancer affects everyone. I know that you?ve probably heard that before, but start asking around if you need proof. It does. And that?s why the Lance Armstrong Foundation is here. We?re here to be the support that cancer survivors and their families need, to empower them to live life on their own terms. One of the ways we do that is through the LIVESTRONG Challenge.
The LIVESTRONG Challenge is an opportunity for everyone to pick a fight with cancer, to take a stand, make a statement, to give cancer the finger. In the Challenge, we offer a 5K run/walk as well as a series of bike rides which includes lengths of 10-, 45-, 70-, and 100-miles. We also have volunteer opportunities in case you or someone you know would like to get involved but cannot participate. On Sunday, we will have our Post-Event Party where there will be food, beverages, music and entertainment, a Kid?s Zone, and Awards Presentations. All of this so that you have the chance to tell cancer exactly what?s on your mind.
At the fundraising appreciation dinner last year, one of our guests stopped to talk for a minute as everyone was leaving. He and I had exchanged a few emails in the prior weeks and so I was familiar with his motivation for participating. He said to me, ?My brother was a fighter. Ultimately, he lost, but he was a fighter. One of his favorite things to say was, ?Cancer: don?t let the word kill you.? And I haven?t.? He had written the saying down on the back of his name placard, and I still have it at my desk. We?ve come a long way in this fight, but there?s more that can be done, more that must be done. So, let?s continue on, challenging ourselves along the way.
The LAF staff is excited to come to Seattle this year. So, if you?re in the area, stop by the Fisher Pavilion in the Seattle Center this Saturday from 9-5 to register as a participant or volunteer for this year?s LIVESTRONG Challenge Seattle. We?ll see you there.