AS AN ATHLETE ARMSTRONG IS FLAWED....AS A HUMANITARIAN....NOT SO MUCH
I simply have no patience for ignorance. I try and understand other people's viewpoints, but when they are based in ignorance I have to completely turn them off and not consider anything they say relevant if they are going to be so narrow-minded. This has become an issue for me as I listen to these "geniuses" discuss Lance Armstrong and his Livestrong Foundation.
Let's get this front-and-center. Lance Armstrong lied and cheated his way to seven Tour de France cycling titles. He used performance-enhancing drugs during his tremendous string of victories and as an athlete he is a fraud and a sham.....Case Closed.
But, when you consider Armstrong the humanitarian a different story emerges. Because of his celebrity and his own personal fight with testicular cancer he started the Livestrong Foundation. He used his celebrity to garner donations and corportate sponsorships that helped thousands of families in their time of need. One of those families is my own. When a loved one was diagnosed with cancer, we had to have some specialized treatments. The treatments were in excess of 20 thousand dollars, money we did not have. Yet, the clinic told us that because of the Livestrong Foundation they would forgive roughly 75 percent of the cost.
When told what Livestrong was doing for us, I was in complete and utter shock. The doctors told us that they had negotiated with the Livestrong Foundation to forgive the costs of this procedure. It was something that we might not have been able to financially commit to without the Livestrong Foundation's help. It was a revelation in what celebrity can accomplish when put to good use. Today, my family member is completely cancer free and we move forward in knowing there were a lot of people that helped us overcome this monumental challenge......one of which being the Livestrong Foundation started by Lance Armstrong.
So, while stones are cast Armstrong's way, while people condemn his actions and his decade long denials about PED's. I will look at Armstrong differently. He is a flawed athlete who took numerous short-cuts on his way to glory. But, when he found that glory he helped those in need to fight a deadly disease. I, for one, will not judge him harshly.
My stone will stay in my pocket.