When people are bombarded with a media barrage of all the drug allegations and ever-growing mountain of evidence they wonder why people support Lance Armstrong despite everything.
The may even come to the IronStruck website and wonder why I never waver in my support of Lance.
Yes he is a great athlete–drugs or no drugs–but it goes far deeper than that.
Detractors are quick to point out that he cannot bury his supposed indiscretions in the fabric of the Lance Armstrong Foundation that has helped so many cancer victims around the world.
Rightfully so, Armstrong should have to face the doping allegations against him far removed from the Livestrong Foundation and they should not be conjoined.
However to many people like myself there is no denying the impact he has had on so many suffering from cancer.
My brother was a career soldier and was stationed in Cyprus and many other locations as part of the NATO forces. He was also active in Desert Storm.
In many ways what he did and many others like him have done(and are still doing)enables us to have this freedom of speech so we can speak our minds about anything we want, including the ongoing Lance Armstrong doping saga.
When my brother retired from the Armed Forces a few short years ago all he wanted to do was watch NHL hockey, work on his Sports Memorabilia collection, and go fishing and camping all over the country he had dedicated a lifetime to protect.
He had all of six months before being stricken with Leukemia. The journey to his death was long and painful. What stays with me the most from those days is the anger he felt that this would happen to him and he had no way of fighting back.
It would have meant so much to have a treatment available to beat this disease and one day there will be……Because of people like Lance Armstrong.
In the October 19, 2012 edition of the Calgary Herald there is a story titled Cyclist Remains a Hero: city man salutes Lance Armstrong.
The story centers around Brian McGregor who keeps a photo of Lance in his Calgary office.
Lance Armstrong inspired McGregor to form an organization called Cancervive that raises funds for Calgary cancer survivors. Just over eight years ago McGregor took part in the annual Livestrong Challenge fund-raising event in Austin, Texas that insprired the idea to create Cancervive.
It was a way of paying back the person who had encouraged him when he needed it most.
Shortly after reading Armstong’s book It’s Not About The Bike he discovered a lump that a specialist confirmed as the same Cancer that Lance Armstrong had. Just as he was under-going his first in a series of radiation treatments, Lance Armstong was in town for a fundraising dinner.
It was his wife and the hospital administration who set up a meeting with Lance Armstrong and McGregor and his family. All he really needed to hear from Armstrong that made all the difference in the world was “You can get through this.”
Does this mean that people who have been touched by cancer as victim or family and friends of victims are condoning drug use because they remain supporters of Lance Armstrong?
Not at all and perhaps McGregor said it best.
“I don’t know if he doped or not, but he’s done far more good than harm.”