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 San Diego, Julie Wescott, talks about why she is involved with LIVESTRONG and what she is doing in her community to help spread the LIVESTRONG message.
What does LIVESTRONG mean to you?
It’s an inspiration to me to keep on fighting, unite my community, and be passionate about every moment of my life. LIVESTRONG means that “failure is not an option” and that is my personal battle cry. It means being connected to the other 28 million people in the world fighting cancer. The word itself invokes hope, reminding me to stay strong and to keep my sense of humor in challenging circumstances.
Why are you a Leader?
I’m a three-time cancer survivor, first diagnosed at 31 years old. I reached out and connected with the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) and was honored to be a delegate at the LIVESTRONG Summit in 2008. It was my first experience connecting in person with LAF staff and other leaders. I thought the resources were excellent, and the attitude and energy of the organization was contagious to my spirit. When I realized that San Diego didn’t have a volunteer leader, I decided it was time to rally San Diegans to support our local cancer and health community. I’m cancer-free now and celebrated my three-year remission “re-birthday” on 09/09. Every year I’m a leader, I become more passionate about the role as a way to give back, a way to support local Young Adult Cancer awareness, and a way to help bring LIVESTRONG resources to Southern California.
What are you doing in your community?
It’s been an exciting year in San Diego! I’ve focused on local fundraising for LAF, which included organizing the Swing Fore! Yellow Golf Tournament and participating in Team LIVESTRONG running events. I just started training for the Austin LIVESTRONG Half Marathon in February as part of Team LIVESTRONG. (Join me!) I have also been engaged in advocacy efforts, which included supporting the CA Prop 29 campaign earlier this year and promoting Young Adult Cancer awareness through “Cures Rock!,” a social media and fundraising campaign I started in 2008.
My most recent efforts centered on rallying LIVESTRONG volunteers to support the SuperFrog Triathlon that Lance Armstrong participated in last week. I also helped as a volunteer and coordinator for the Lance Armstrong Forum. Thanks to the great SuperFrog race director and Navy Seal Foundation (NSF), we were able to host a LIVESTRONG table at the race and also at the Forum with fellow volunteers. It was an amazing event that showed the united spirit of LIVESTRONG and U.S. military leadership. One of the things I love the most about being a LIVESTRONG Leader is working with other leaders in the community – embodying the “UNITY IS STRENGTH” motto of LIVESTRONG. I’m excited to see how the partnerships grow in the coming years.