Lance Armstrong is a father, cancer survivor, advocate and philanthropist. In 1996, at age 25, Lance found himself struggling for his life against testicular cancer that had spread to his brain, lungs and abdomen. Lance aggressively educated himself about his diagnosis and treatment. Even as he battled against overwhelming odds, he made the decision to declare himself a cancer survivor rather than a victim. During his personal battle with cancer, Lance recognized the lack of resources available to those facing this disease. In an effort to help fellow survivors and their families, Lance created a foundation with the express purpose of helping others manage life through and beyond a cancer diagnosis.
In the years since, the organization Lance founded – now the LIVESTRONG Foundation – has served millions of people affected by cancer through direct support services that fill critical financial, emotional, physical and practical gaps in care for them and their loved ones. The Foundation has raised more than $500 million to serve cancer survivors, advocated on behalf of cancer patients in major policy debates and fought the stigma many cancer survivors throughout the world face.
Lance has personally devoted himself to becoming a leading advocate for cancer survivors. He has lobbied Capitol Hill, testified before Congress, served two terms on the President’s Cancer Panel, advocated for smoke-free measures across the U.S. and addressed the United Nations.
In 2004, the now-iconic yellow LIVESTRONG wristbands associated with the Foundation became an international phenomenon and a grassroots symbol of support for survivors. Thanks to its partnership with Nike, the Foundation has sold and distributed more than 87 million wristbands to advance the Foundation’s work improving the lives of people affected by cancer.
In 2007, Lance helped unite support for the largest state-level initiative for cancer prevention in history, one that was overwhelmingly approved by voters and provided $3 billion for cancer research and prevention in Texas. The Constitutional amendment created the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, which has awarded nearly $840 million in cancer prevention, research and commercialization grants since 2009.
In 2009, after more than a decade of advocacy work in the U.S., Lance led the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign, an initiative to address the cancer burden worldwide. The landmark event of the Campaign was the first-of-its-kind LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit, held in Dublin, Ireland. The unprecedented gathering of more than 500 world leaders, corporations, non-governmental organizations and advocates from more than 65 countries blazed a new trail for reducing the global burden of cancer. The Summit produced 300 new commitments to cancer control representing an investment of more than $200 million and established a unified global cancer movement for the first time in history.
The same year, Lance’s vision for a permanent home for the Foundation was realized when the organization moved into a renovated warehouse in East Austin, an underserved part of the city. This home paved the way for the 2011 opening of the LIVESTRONG Cancer Navigation Center, marking a critical milestone in the continuing expansion of cancer support services the Foundation specializes in to patients, survivors and their families. One of just two facilities of its kind in the U.S., this community-based facility provides free, confidential, one-on-one support to anyone affected by cancer. In addition to the Center, the support services are also available online and by phone nationwide. To date, the LIVESTRONG Foundation has served more than 2.5 million people through its cancer support services.
In 2012, Lance resigned his leadership role with the Foundation. He remains the Foundation’s single biggest donor and the progress he has helped generate within the field of cancer survivorship stands as a lasting legacy.