Notes from Evan Smith
"If Lance Armstrong had decided, after winning the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times, that he wanted to downshift for a few years, hang out with his kids, make a few bucks giving speeches, date rock stars and fashion designers, quit answering stupid questions from the press, generally disappear from the public view, no one would have blamed him. After all he had accomplished, didn’t he deserve a little time off? After all he had been through? It’s amazing to consider that it was eleven years ago that the 36-year-old was diagnosed with an aggressive form of testicular cancer, a germ cell tumor that metastasized to his brain and lungs. He was not supposed to survive, as so many people in his situation don’t, but he famously beat the disease and became an inspiration to people both sick and healthy everywhere. After that, wasn’t he entitled to a breather? If you know anything at all about him, you know he doesn’t do breathers. A decade ago, in the midst of his recovery, he began the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which gave us the yellow LiveStrong bracelets that are so ubiquitious, even today, around my town and yours, and have raised than $60 million to fight cancer, along with the consciousness of a grateful nation and world. And since his retirement from pro cycling in July of 2005, Armstrong has been a tireless advocate for cancer research, a compassionate friend to cancer survivors and patients, and the very best unregistered lobbyist the cause could ask for. In late August, he hosted a forum in Iowa for Republican and Democratic candidates to answer questions about cancer, and this fall, back home in his native Texas, he’s fighting for passage of Proposition 15, a statewide ballot initiative that would invest $3 billion over the next ten years in cancer research and prevention programs. Just another ex-athlete he ain’t—and we should all be thankful for that.
" - Evan Smith, Texas Monthly Talks, Broadcast 10.4.07