Replace Awareness with Action

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Welcome and Thanks for checking in.  

  Today (September 1st) marks the beginning of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This is the time of year that many organizations and individuals join in the fight against childhood cancer and help to bring awareness and funding to the fight against this disease.

For some of us that have the same vision throughout the entire year we say “Thank you” and appreciate the emphasis your engagement will have over the course of the September.  We believe only by working together can we truly make the necessary strides required to bring attention to this cause.

While awareness is great and we definitely can’t have too much awareness, I would further challenge readers and followers to take “Action” by doing something that helps carry this message well beyond the end of the month.

Some examples of “Actionable”’ items include,

  1. Writing a letter to your State and National Legislators urging them to increase funding at both the State and National levels for childhood cancer research. There are many online tools to help you craft and send emails directly to your state and national representatives.
  2. Volunteering at a local childhood cancer hospital (or any cancer center) and learning what programs and services they offer. Share what you learn.
  3. Contacting a local Non Profit Cancer organization and seeing if you can help them.
  4. Participate in local events that help to raise awareness in your local community. If there isn’t’ an event, start one.
  5. Find an organization that you believe in and learn what programs and services they offer. Share what you lean with your networks.

Only by working together, not only during the month of September but the rest of the year, can we truly make a difference in not only childhood cancer but all cancers including Children, Young Adult, Adult, and Seniors, after all doesn’t #Everycanstorycount ?

Thanks for checking in…,

Disclaimer:  Please excuse any typos as my editor is on vacation.

Sharing The LiveStrong Message – One Neighborhood At A Time

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Hello Everyone and Thanks for Checking in…

Our Every Cancer Story Counts Cycling Challenge went well although I didn’t get in the amount of mileage I had hoped for but I believe the impact we had far outweighed any mileage goal. We were able to help out a fellow LiveStrong Leader in getting closer to her goal fundraising and a trip to the LiveStrong Challenge in Austin Texas later this year and I want to thank everyone who donated and supported the cause.

I altered my plan and did the ride on Friday as Saturday’s weather with forecasted thunderstorms during the day might hamper our efforts. As it turned out Friday was a great day to ride in the morning and the cloud cover kept the sun from beating down but unfortunately the rain showers with some thunder and lightning came rolling in around 2pm forcing me off the bike. As a result I never got back on my bike until after 4pm and as a result I had cooled down twice already and my body started to ache by early evening. As in many endurance sports, once you cool down and your body begins its recover phase it’s even more difficult to get your body going again. Usually I am able to recover once but the second shower storm did me in and there was no recovery from that and the recliner started to feel better and better.

The good news is we were able to get 65 miles in and as this was my first long ride of the season, nothing longer than 20miles so far this season, I feel I am still on the right path for my return to full duty by the years end. Unfortunately when I woke up on Saturday I discovered I already came down with a chest cold and decided to play it safe and not venture out. Almost a week later I am still battling the cold so the “off the bike” Saturday decision proved d to be the correct call.

However the mileage wasn’t the only goal of the event and it surely wasn’t the most important goal which was to expand the LiveStrong mission to those I met and interacted with during the ride. I stopped numerous times to chat with our neighbors and tell them what I was doing and why it was so very important. Nearly everyone I met with was supportive of the event and the more important the cause. Many of those that I met hung the LiveStrong wristband on their mailbox or from other areas of the yard in order to motivate me as I rode past and most are still there today.

I had the opportunity to bring the LiveStrong message to them in their own neighborhood and where they lived. The opportunity to pass out and share some LiveStrong wristbands and LiveStrong “we can help” cards far exceeds the importance of reaching any mileage goal. I think this is one of the strengths of the LiveStrong Foundation and those that work & volunteer for the organization and that is a clear and unconditional belief that It must always be about the people affected by cancer. While some organizations like to use the motto Every Mile Matters , I prefer to say Every Cancer Story Counts.

Stay tuned in for future updates as we continue to bring the LiveStrong message to other neighborhoods and possibly even your community.

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The Significance of 1,521 in the Cancer Fight

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Answer to yesterday’s question “What is the significance of 1,521 ?”

it’s the actual distance between Chesapeake, VA and Oldenburg , Germany. So why is that important ? This weekend two individuals, Henrike (Fellow LiveStrong Leader) and I will take on our own personal cycling challenge in the fight against cancer and to support the ‪#‎Livestrong‬ mission.

For 24 hours (‘sh) we will challenge ourselves either by cycling, running or walking ( I’m not running ) in an effort to raise cancer awareness in our own local communities.

The good news is we will have the option to stop after 24 Hours, however cancer patients don’t have that option. They fight every day and that my friends is really the only true significance of why we are undertaking this personal challenge.

So while our #LiveStrong teammates are participating in 24hrs of Booty in Columbia MD, we are supporting and cheering on their efforts because we believe as a team we can have a far greater impact in the fight against cancer and ‪#‎FightAsOne‬ than we can ever have individually. ‪#‎unityisstrength‬

Please help LiveStrong Foundation continue to provide the program and services not just for one day or one event but the rest of the 364 days of the year. Please consider making any size donation to

https://www.teamlivestrong.org/fundraising/fearless/

GO !!!t

Because Every Cancer Story Counts..

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Thank you everyone for checking in….

This will be a short update to let you all know what’s coming up in the next few days.

As many are aware, I will be supporting my LiveStrong Team that will be participating in 24hrs of Booty Columbia by participating in my own cycling challenge within my own local area. I will be riding to promote the LiveStrong mission in and around my own community, let’s just call this LiveStrong in My Community Ride.  All donations and proceeds collected will go 100% to LiveStrong and the programs and services and fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now.

I am asking that all donations be made to one of my fellow LiveStrong Leader’s fundraising page (Henrike Hirsch, Olendburg Germany) in order to help her reach her goal necessary to participate in the LiveStrong Challenge in Austin later this year.

For those that have been following along should already know, I am a true believer in we can do more by working together than we can  individually but when needed I don’t fear being the single voice in a fight worth fighting.  Please consider making any size donation by visiting https://www.teamlivestrong.org/fundraising/fearless/  .

You may even win some pretty cool LiveStrong swag.

So why am I undertaking this challenge locally  ?

Because Deb’s Cancer Story Counts

Because my Father’s Cancer Story Counts

Because Wendell’s Cancer Story Counts

Because Mary’s Cancer Story Counts

Because Wes’ Cancer Story Counts

Because Sue’s Cancer Story Counts

Because JP’s Cancer Story Counts

Because Jane’s Cancer Story Counts

Because Aunt Annie’s Cancer Story Counts

Because Aunt Ginny’s Cancer Story Counts

Because Sandy’s Cancer Story Counts

Because Jimmy’s Cancer Story Counts

Because Fred’s Cancer Story Counts

Because Every Cancer Story Counts !!

Once again please consider making any size donation to support the LiveStrong Mission to ensure all Cancer Stories Count.

Thanks Everyone for Checking in…..

 

 

 

Fight As One is in our DNA

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Thanks for Checking in….

Thank you to everyone that supported the 24hrs of Booty in Charlotte NC a few weeks ago. While the final numbers are being computed we do know that because of your efforts over $1.6 Million was raised for local and national cancer programs. This is an amazing amount of donor support that will go directly to helping those battling cancer and in providing much needed cancer research and we couldn’t have done it without your help and your support , Thank YOU !!!

As many of you may not know, while we were riding in Charlotte many of my fellow LiveStrong Team members were out supporting us, encouraging, and motivating us throughout the event by holding events in their own local communities. Now it’s time to return the favor and support my LiveStrong Team in their upcoming 24hrs of Booty – Columbia.

I can’t say this enough, LiveStrong is a team of individuals who work together to help bring support to Cancer patients and we do that in a respectful and courteous manner. We do this by organizing  events within our local communities, by participating in other local and national events such as LiveStrong Challenge Austin (October) , 24hrs of Booty, and by supporting each other in those efforts. More importantly we check our egos at the door and come to the Fight As One. The reason LiveStrong is a great team is because the FightAsOne mantra is in our DNA.

In an effort to return that support provided to the Booty Charlotte team, I will be doing a local Weekend Mileage challenge trying to get as many miles in during the weekend of 20 – 21 August in an effort to bring awareness to the LiveStrong mission as well as support the LiveStrong Team participating in the 24hrs of Booty – Columbia MD.

During this event I will be seeking support through donations that 100% directly support the LiveStrong Foundation.  Only by doing it this way can I reassure each supporter that all donations will be used in direct cancer support and used in a ethical and respectful manner.

As many of you know, Columbia – Booty had a special place in our hearts for many years and was our yearly cancer victory weekend celebration for Deb and I.  My support and trust of the LiveStrong team in Columbia in no way implies support to any other benefactor that benefits from this event.  I support the LiveStrong Team when and wherever they may ride.  LiveStrong has the ethical qualities that I believe is vital part of a cancer organization’s core values.

Stay tuned in for more updates….. .

Thanks for checking in ….

 

 

 

 

LiveStrong at 24Hrs of Booty- Charlotte

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Thanks for checking in…..

First and foremost, we wish to thank everyone who donated to the last minute 24hrs of Booty ride in Charlotte. Your donations helped us reach our goal in only a short few days. We are sorry we had to rush but once an opportunity to represent all those battling cancer and the LiveStrong Foundation we try our best to make an effort to see it through and we couldn’t have done it without you.

The Charlotte community definitely put on a great show of support for the 24hrs of Booty event.  The involvement from the local community is something rarely seen. There were hundreds of folks lining the streets, ringing cowbells and encouraging the riders throughout the entire event. I had the opportunity to stop and thank many of these folks as I made my way around the 3-mile Booty loop. Everyone I talked to seem genuinely interested and appreciative of the fact that all of us were riding against cancer, in honor of someone, or in memory of someone we knew that battled this horrible disease.

By far the biggest enjoyment was the interaction of people stopping by the LiveStrong table and the opportunity to hear about their cancer story and share our own. I can say that no one who attended 24hrs of Booty ever should leave feeling that their cancer story doesn’t matter. We interacted with all demographics of the cancer community and emphasized that their cancer story, or their loved one’s cancer story was no less important than any others. In addition, the opportunity to chat with fellow LiveStrong Leaders and  LiveStrong Staff only made the trip to Charlotte all that much more worthwhile. Not once did I feel that any LiveStrong member ever felt that OUR cancer story shouldn’t be told.

The money raised by the event goes to support many worthwhile Charlotte local and national cancer programs including the Levine Cancer Institute, an amazing organization providing only the best in cancer care services and research. I had the chance to stop by Levine Cancer Institute tent and chat with some of the staff and once again they were so thankful for everyone’s involvement and participation.

While I will miss doing the 24hrs of Booty in Columbia I believe the 24hrs of Charlotte can bring as much enjoyment and may become our new cancer celebration location for years to come.

Thanks again and stay tuned for upcoming cycling challenges to help bring awareness to the cancer fight and to ensure that Every Cancer Story Counts.

Cheers !!

Every Cancer Story Counts Goes to Booty !!

Charollet

Thanks for Checking In…..

An opportunity presented itself that will allow me to participate in a great event to help bring cancer awareness in honor of all those that are fighting cancer as well as in memory of those that fought and lost their battle to this horrible disease. This will be my first year participating in 24hrs of Booty in Charlotte NC.

24hrs of Booty is a 24 hour cycling event which helps provide funding for local and national cancer initiatives. One of the beneficiaries of the 24hrs of Booty (Charlotte) is the Levine Cancer Institute. I had the opportunity to visit the Levine Cancer Institute in 2015 and it was truly a remarkable and most memorable experience. I met some truly outstanding staff and while visiting one of the chemo wards I had an opportunity to visit with patients undergoing treatment. This was truly a highpoint of the trip.

I felt it only appropriate to participate in 24 Hours of Booty in Charlotte this year as the Levine Cancer Institute is a worthwhile and trustworthy beneficiary of the efforts of all those who come to Charlotte and participate, whether it is as a volunteer, rider or even a spectator. In addition I will be representing LiveSTRONG Foundation who supports all those battling cancer.

I created a Team Every Cancer Story Counts as it represents our core beliefs and values that every cancer story does count. What makes OUR team unique is the belief that once you are a supporter of the team, your cancer story and the cancer story of your loved one will never be forgotten or diminished. Team Every Cancer Story Counts is not about “us” it is about those that we ride for either In Honor Of or In Memory Of.

Below is just a few of the buttons (more will be added throughout the week) that I will be wearing during the ride. Each one represents an individual who has fought or is in the process of fighting cancer.

Once a donor of Team Every Cancer Story Counts you and your loved one will always be remembered and honored.

Please consider any size donation to help in the fight by visiting and donating here at Steve’s Donation Page 

Thank you.

Deb_Booty Dad_Booty  Mary_Booty   Wendell_Booty  JP_ Booty

Sue_BootyWes_BootyAunt Annie_Booty   Aunt Ginny_Booty  Graham_Booty - Copy

 

 

One Voice + 1

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Hello everyone and thank you for checking in…..

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Senator Tim Kaine’s staff as a follow up to the May’s One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) conference. This time however I was able to provide a more detailed and personal view of the cancer fight and why we will continue to advocate for full funding of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the fight against cancer. I was able to emphasize how a relatively small in comparison a 500 million reduction only jeopardizes the National Cancer Moon Shot goal of completing 10 years of research in just 5 years and how any future “markups” (reductions) of the NCI and NIH funding through the federal budget process is not OK.

This meeting provided the ideal setting to further explain how cancer is affecting a family right here in our own backyard and community, and how the impact of receiving distant treatment required add challenges to their cancer fight. While the meeting only lasted 20 minutes the opportunity to once again put cancer research as a MUST HAVE in any national budget / appropriations bills going forward is no less important today as it was in May or will be in the months to follow.

It is critically important to continue this discussion with all our national and local leaders.   In future weeks I hope to meet with more national, state, and local leaders and perspective candidates to continue advocating that the time is now to make Every Cancer Story Count.

 

Thanks for checking in….

The Rocket is Leaving (Cancer Moon Shot)

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Thanks Everyone for Checking in…….Let’s get right to it !!!

Since President Obama’s most recent State of The Union Address there has been a lot of discussion regarding the cancer moon shot initiative.

This cancer moon shot is more than just a buzz word being used to promote a political agenda, it’s a series of steps and actions that are taking place both globally, nationally and within our own local communities necessary to elevate the idea of “hope” of doing what seems to be the impossible. The cancer moon shot is a vision and a vision that is long overdue by our government leaders.

In 2008 I attended my first LiveStrong summit where we spent 3 days hearing speakers from the medical profession, cancer advocacy groups, and others speak on the direction cancer prevention and advocacy was going both nationally.

We even had t cancer survivor and then Presidential Candidate Senator John McCain speak about what he would do to support the cancer fight, if elected. While Senator McCain gave an outstanding political speech, he failed to convince me that he had a vision to bring the very best in the cancer community together as one in the fight against cancer.

In 2008 those that were attending the LiveStrong summit knew, as we know now, that the answer and ANY successful vision had to include bringing the very best, the very motivated, and the very passionate, in all areas of the cancer community together as one. Only by doing so would we as a nation, and globally, have a fighting chance to make significant progress in the cancer fight.

Today’s cancer moon shot is targeting many areas of the cancer fight but it’s reachable goal is to make 10 years of progress in the cancer fight in just 5 years and in doing so help provide hope to the millions of cancer patients that are fighting today and those that will be fighting tomorrow.

It has taken years to have a visionary such as VP Biden at the helm of the initiative. For many the results of the cancer moon shot will not come fast enough, but they will come. Steps are being taken today in many areas identified in this national initiative and coordinated efforts are being made among government agencies and many private sector  cancer research centers.

While I am fairly confident in saying that most of my readers of this blog aren’t at the national level of the efforts, you are no less important to the cancer moon shot and the impact it can make today on those fighting cancer.

I would further challenge everyone to get involved within your own local communities in any way you can in helping to raise awareness and or bring attention the cancer fight and when the opportunity presents itself make sure your voice is heard.

For more on the moon shot please visit the Cancer Moon Shot fact sheet.

What makes the Cancer Moon Shot so important to me ? It’s not going to leave anyone behind, there is enough room for everyone and Every Cancer Story Counts.  

Thanks for checking in, stay tuned for more updates..

 

 

My 8hrs of being a Lobbyist in DC..or…My Feet Hurt….

Representative Barbara Comstock (VA) Visit.

As many of you know, I attended a One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) lobby day in Washington DC where over 20 organizations came together to lobby lawmakers to ensure full funding for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as other funding requests that directly impact the cancer fight.

What made the OVAC event an overwhelming positive experience is the fact that not once did I sense that any individual’s personal cancer story was any less relevant than anyone else’s and yes that was indeed a refreshing experience. It reaffirmed my belief that there are indeed people and organizations that are morally and ethically correctly aligned in the fight against cancer.

Our Virginia group consisted of a representative with not only her own family cancer story but also involved in the Stomach Cancer fight, as well as an individual involved with the Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma. Personally,  before today I never heard of Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma which only goes to voice even louder that cancer research must be fully funded. Many of these lesser known cancers are no less important and their fight for the same research and their cures and improved treatment needs to found as well.

Not one Representative that we met with thought that funding the NCI and NIH as requested was a bad thing, nor did I expect anyone to do so.  Polling numbers showed that 90 % of those polled believed this to such an important national issue that it deserves to supported by both sides of the isle.  I would love to meet with a representative who thought funding the NCI, NIH or the Cancer Moon Shot initiative was a bad thing for this is the individual who deserves to hear why this is so important.  As many of you already know, just tell me when and where I can meet this individual and I’ll be there.

While only time will tell how t his will play out in the National budget process, I can assure you that those representatives that committed to  being a Champion for the Cancer Fight will continue to hear our collective an individual voices until the process is complete and cancer research becomes and stays a National priority.

To be Continued…..

Thanks for checking in…

 

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