LIVESTRONG Leaders are individuals that make a yearly significant commitment to those in their community affected by cancer by spreading the message of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. They do this by fundraising, hosting events, bringing LIVESTRONG Foundation resources to their local hospitals and more. One of our amazing leaders from Connecticut, Roger Levesque, talks about why he is involved with LIVESTRONG and what he is doing in his community to help spread the LIVESTRONG Foundation message.
To me LIVESTRONG means The inspiration and power every warrior needs when fighting their battle.
When my father-in-law, and good friend, Gary Scheyd was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2007, I had no idea where to turn. That was until I came across LIVESTRONG.org. I was blown away with the info and help offered to us FREE of charge, without any obligation to donate. After Gary passed I decided that LIVESTRONG was something I wanted to be a part of, not only to raise money and awareness, but to honor a man that I cherished so much. This is my 6th year as a leader and now LIVESTRONG must help me again to fight the battle, with my sister, who has stage 4 melanoma. Around every corner is a reminder as to why LIVESTRONG Leaders and supporters are so valuable to people affected by cancer and why people like me take the fight head on.
As a leader in Connecticut, I have taken the task of educating our community about the LIVESTRONG Foundation and their Navigation services personally. I spent some time in the past realizing that most people not only didn’t know what LIVESTRONG was, but was also clueless on all the things the Foundation offers. I recently have taken the opportunity of a bad situation, to use the media as a platform to spread the foundations mission. I have been asked on 3 different occasions to do interviews about the foundation, and I used them as a platform to tell the story I wanted to. I used the platform to talk about the Cancer Navigation Center, how LIVESTRONG helps all people affected by cancer with the financial, emotional and practical support needed while fighting this disease. I was given the gift of being able to educate my community on The LIVESTRONG Foundation and everything they offer, through the media, regardless of why they wanted the interview in the first place.
I have also been doing some speaking to people enrolled or have graduated from one of our local LIVESTRONG at the Y programs. Some of these people’s lives were drastically changed by this program, yet didn’t realize “What Else” the Foundation had to offer. I am hoping to connect with more of the YMCA’s in CT, to be able to set up speaking engagements with any of the new classes or graduates. I am also finding a new pool of volunteers from the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA participants, who really want to pay it forward.
I am also in full fledged health fair season. I just recently had a booth at the NBC CT. Health and Wellness Festival which saw thousands people, over 2 days, stop at our booth to see what we had to offer. I handed out countless information pamphlets and even 6 Guidebooks to people who were recently or had a loved one recently diagnosed. I also had 3 different health care professionals ask me to join their upcoming health fair. So far I have booked 2 of them. I spent an entire weekend spreading the Foundations mission and letting people know about our programs and partners. When they walked away from our booth they knew “We are the LIVESTRONG Foundation, and we’re here to help!”