by Chris Brewer
One of the Core Values of LIVESTRONG is, “We know we can’t do it alone.” This value refers to our mission of providing direct services to the 28 million people around the world living with cancer, as well as establishing a movement and platform for advocacy to change the way the world fights cancer. We’re a team, with amazing supporters around the world. And like all teams, we need leaders, people ready to step up and take on an active role and lead the way. To that effect, we’d like to take some time to introduce 13 amazing individuals who will steward our 2012 Team LIVESTRONG participants and help them reach their fundraising goals. So thanks to them for stepping up, and thanks to all of you, for all you do!
If you’re thinking of participating in a Team LIVESTRONG event, walking, running, riding or taking on a triathlon across the country, but are unsure about fundraising, our mentors are here to help you. Each mentor is a past or present Team LIVESTRONG participant as well as a successful fundraiser. Not only will you be provided with email templates and fundraising ideas when you sign up, your mentor will share all their tips and tricks with you and make sure your experience with us is both fun and rewarding. Learn more at TeamLIVESTRONG.org.
Region One – CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT
Scott Joy – Scott grew up in Maine and then migrated south to New Hampshire. A testicular cancer survivor, Scott was diagnosed in June 2003 and experienced a recurrence in June 2005. He is an active member of Cyclists Combating Cancer and administrator for the TC-Cancer Internet support forum for testicular cancer survivors and caregivers. Since 2003, Scott has completed sixteen cycling events with LIVESTRONG, gladly fundraising for the Foundation and the fight for people living with cancer, and he has volunteered as a fundraising mentor and cancer community advocate since 2007. Scott and his wife Judy have two daughters and fraternal twin sons. He works in enterprise architecture and sings tenor.
Region Two – DE, MD, PA, WV
Laurens Flanagan – Laurens lives in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband, Will, and her two standard poodles, Maggie and Duke. This will be her second year as a Team LIVESTRONG Mentor. Last year was really exciting as she and Will attended the Challenges in Davis, Philly and Austin. “We raised a lot of money last year and had a great time doing it,” she said. “I look forward to this year being even better! ‘Unity is Strength. Knowledge is Power. Attitude is Everything.’ It’s my favorite part of the LIVESTRONG Manifesto. As a two-time breast cancer survivor, I will always be grateful for the resources I received from LIVESTRONG. It is quite comforting to know there are others in the world that are just like me. Unity really IS Strength.”
Region Three – FL, GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, VA
Blaine Mauldin – “I am 30 years old, was raised in Napa California, and went to San Jose State University where I studied Kinesiology. I work in the San Francisco Giants Front Office as the Development & Health Coordinator for the Giants Community Fund. I recently married my wife Ellen, whom I met through a LIVESTRONG event, and we are expecting a baby boy in late April. I love sports, music, cycling and LIVESTRONG.”
“At age 25 in the fall of 2006 I was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer. After two major surgeries and three intense cycles of infusions, I was deemed cancer free and began my remission on February 7, 2007. I was guided through my cancer experience with LIVESTRONG materials and inspired that I could conquer the disease and return to a high level of health and performance by Lance Armstrong. I started cycling in the summer of 2007 and began participating in the LIVESTRONG Challenge Series at the inaugural San Jose event in 2008. Since then, I have done eight LIVESTRONG rides and two runs traveling to Seattle, Philadelphia, Davis and Austin. I served on the San Jose Challenge Local Organizing Committee for three years focusing on outreach for the event.”
Region Four – IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, OH, WI
David Plinovich – David has been involved with the foundation for 5 years, and this is his second year as the Region 4 Mentor. He says, “My connections to cancer are many. I lost my wife of 17 years to Pancreatic cancer in 2006. LIVESTRONG provided us with many resources during her fight. We made a promise to never give up , she lost her battle but I am here to do my part to ensure that other people have the resources that we did. I live in Northwest Indiana in the heart of the midwest. I have three beautiful daughters. I am an avid swimmer cyclist and runner.”
Region Five – AL, AR, LA, MS, TX
Christine Hornbeek – Chris is a 19-year survivor of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and she has been riding and participating in LIVESTRONG events since 2001. “Getting involved with LIVESTRONG has given me the opportunity to connect with so many other survivors, something that wasn’t easy 19 years ago!” she said. “LIVESTRONG has become my family and I look forward to helping others achieve their goal. LIVESTRONG’s focus on survivorship is unique and I can tell you first-hand that it is a very valuable service that couldn’t happen without you. Thank you so much for participating! I live in Mansfield, Texas with my husband Chip and two dogs.”
Region Six – AZ, CO, KS, NE, NM, OK, UT
Jennifer Roop – Jen is from Bethesda, Maryland and graduated from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and for the past seven years she’s called Los Angeles home. Jen works for a small marketing company and when she’s not in front of the computer, she’s either out biking or updating her fundraising/cycling blog www.1dollar1mile.com. She lives with her husband, two cats and way too many bikes.
Jen has a love for biking, a career in internet marketing and a strong belief that the world can live without cancer. Jen’s first experience with the Lance Armstrong Foundation was 4 years ago when she set a goal to raise over $5,000 and ride 100 miles in the San Jose LIVESTRONG Challenge. Since then, she has continued to be an annual LIVESTRONG Challenge participant and fundraising enthusiast. Fundraising, cycling and generating cancer awareness has enabled Jen to combine all of her passions while sharing her hope with the cancer community. After having her own mentor for the past three years, she is incredibly excited for the opportunity to serve on the LIVESTRONG front lines as the Region 6 Mentor. Jen is committed to pushing other LIVESTRONG participants to exceed their fundraising and training goals.
Region Seven – AK, CA, ID, NV, OR, WA, HI
Steve Bartolucci – Steve is an 11-year Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Survivor and husband to Jeanne, father to Dan and Paolina. He’s participated for over nine years as a grassroots fundraiser for LIVESTRONG, and this is his fifthyear as a Team LIVESTRONG Mentor and LIVESTRONG Leader. He’s also a member of Imerman Angels and Cyclists Combating Cancer
Steve says, “Lance Armstrong and LIVESTRONG changed the way I dealt with my cancer, turning me from Victim to Warrior. They gave me my motivation to not only survive, but to thrive, as I refused to let cancer control my life. Through this on-going inspiration, I have become an advocate, working to help those recently diagnosed, so that they can benefit from all that LIVESTRONG has done to change the face of cancer in this country and throughout the world. I choose to think that representing the LIVESTRONG mission is the “Responsibility of the Cured,” and not an “Obligation.” To that end, being a Team LIVESTRONG Mentor is a special honor, working to assist those new to the LIVESTRONG Challenge. If I can help just one person aim high and reach their goal & beyond, my mission will be successful!”
Region Eight – International
Annemieke Jannsens – Annemieke has lived in the small town of Hoogerheide, The Netherlands for most of her life. Four years ago she started volunteering for LIVESTRONG after Lance Armstrong announced his return to cycling and global fight against cancer. She said, “I signed up within minutes after finding out LIVESTRONG was looking for leaders all over the world. Like so many families, mine too has been touched by cancer. Currently I have an aunt fighting thyroid cancer. My niece, Judith, died just three weeks after being diagnosed with leukemia. She was 14. And ten years ago I lost my Uncle Piet also to cancer. After losing these wonderful people I knew I had to take an active role in fighting this terrible disease.
“I have participated in three different LIVESTRONG Challenge events in Austin and I am already fundraising for 2012. Every week I volunteer for LIVESTRONG at different hospitals and teach a spinning class for survivors. We take the LIVESTRONG message to local cycling events and health fairs throughout The Netherlands. While I haven’t had cancer myself I do know what it’s like to struggle physically. Twelve years ago I was the victim of a hit and run accident that left me dependent on crutches. It took me nine years to cycle again. My journey has had many ups and downs but there’s nothing like participating in a LIVESTRONG Challenge event. The Challenge is a wonderful way for people to help those affected by cancer. I look forward to helping you make your Challenge into an unforgettable experience, as mine has been.”
Iron Horse Bicycle Classic
Russ Dudley – Russ is a five-year testicular cancer survivor living in Falls Church, Virginia. Shortly after his diagnosis and treatment, he ran the Austin LIVESTRONG Challenge 5k. Crossing that finish line was an incredibly empowering moment. As a veteran fundraising mentor for the LIVESTRONG Challenge and Team LIVESTRONG – RAGBRAI, he has helped empower others like him to achieve their own Team LIVESTRONG goals. This year Russ will be the mentor for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic and is looking forward to a new cycling challenge and helping a new group of Team LIVESTRONG riders.
Jeff and Gil Webb– Jeff and Gil are a father and son team as fundraising mentors. Jeff grew up in Iowa, attended Iowa State, has enjoyed cycling since his youth and always wanted to ride RAGBRAI. He retired from firefighting after 30 years in Florida and decided to give RAGBRAI a go in 2011 with his son, Gil. Jeff was diagnosed with Stage 4 Thyroid Cancer in 2010 and is still undergoing treatments, and winning. They both have followed and supported LIVESTRONG since its inception in 1997, but It wasn’t until Jeff’s diagnosis that they really decided to get involved and help however possible.
Gil’s first real experience with cycling was at RAGBRAI 2011 with Team LIVESTRONG, other than watching the Tour de France on TV. Growing up in central Florida, Gil enjoys Surfing and Sailing as well as his new found love of cycling, works in marketing and is looking forward to another year at RAGBRAI. They both are looking forward to a BIG fundraising effort from Team LIVESTRONG RAGBRAI.
Chicago and Austin Marathons
Barbara Simmons– Barb says, “I am excited to be a 2012 Mentor and help the teams exceed our goals from last year! I personally have participated in a variety of Team LIVESTRONG events – the Chicago Marathon, LA Marathon, NYC Marathon, Pittsburgh Half, Hood to Coast and the Philadelphia/Austin LIVESTRONG Challenges. The past three years I have raised close to $35,000 and qualified for Ride for the Roses each year. I was the 2011 Chicago Marathon Mentor. Cancer impacted my life too many times – stealing both my parents, a sister and my husband. LIVESTRONG has provided me friendships and a community which supports me while providing hope for survival. Together let’s show cancer who is the boss and kick it to the curb!”
Alison Silberman – Alison currently lives in Brooklyn NY and works for the Mayor’s Office in New York City. She joined LIVESTRONG‘s first NYC Marathon team in 2006 after her younger brother, Bobby, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. Bobby was her cheerleader on the sidelines that first year, and since his death, he has been her inspiration in every NYC marathon since. Alison has participated in two Austin Challenges and (reluctantly) admits, she really likes the 45 mile bike ride. This is her third year as the NYC Marathon mentor, helping runners meeting their marathon and fundraising goals and trying to turn cyclists into runners.