LIVESTRONG Leaders are individuals that make a yearly significant commitment to those in their community affected by cancer by spreading the message of LIVESTRONG. They do this by fundraising, hosting events, bringing LIVESTRONG resources to their local hospitals and more. One of our amazing leaders from California, Giovanna Baldassarre, talks about why she is involved with LIVESTRONG and what she is doing in her community.
What does LIVESTRONG mean to you?
LIVESTRONG is a way of life…a movement. It is an attitude with the fortitude to take action.
LIVESTRONG was there when I needed an outlet to take action after losing my best friend to cancer. As someone who wants to incessantly fix anything that is wrong, I needed a way to channel my grief and my anger into doing something. I can’t bring my friend back, but perhaps I can make it so no one goes through what he did with his diagnosis…and that no one goes through what I did watching him go through it.
Why are you a Leader?
I became a leader after becoming involved in the LIVESTRONG Challenge series in 2007. I was more than happy to ride my bike and raise money for LIVESTRONG; however, I wanted to do more. I had read about how to get more involved on LIVESTRONG.org and decided that here in the Bay Area, with numerous cancer resources, medical experts, etc. that we needed to have more visibility for LIVESTRONG and the services and help it can provide a community.
What are you doing in your community?
California has a proposition on the June ballot, Proposition 29, that will add a $1 tax to a pack of cigarettes. The additional tax money will go to help fund cancer research (and other tobacco related diseases) and education programs on the hazards of tobacco. This has become a hot topic in our state and we are doing everything we can to get people to understand how important this is in saving lives.
Additionally, the LIVESTRONG Challenge in Davis is coming up and we’ve done some larger outreach events to get more riders signed up for the event.