Cancer, Politics, and Religion

01.10.2011 | 1:19 pm

Last week, I wrote a fake news post — a piece written from Johan Bruyneel’s future tense point of view describing how he spent (um, will spend?) his two-month enforced vacation. I thought it was a (sorta kinda) funny post, and Johan did too.

A lot of people, though, decided it somehow was the perfect place to express their concerns about LiveStrong. A lot of these comments came from sincere people who just want to make sure their time and money are not wasted; that this time and money really go toward the fight against cancer.

So I contacted LiveStrong and asked a couple people there to take a look at the comments from that day, and to please send back a reply. Rae Bazzarre, Deputy Director, Communications and External Affairs, wrote back the following:

LIVESTRONG serves people and families fighting cancer and empowers communities to take action. We advocate for policy measures and funding to combat cancer on a local, state, national and global level. We provide free, one-on-one, confidential consultation to cancer patients for the host of challenges that accompany a diagnosis, including insurance questions, fertility issues, legal and career concerns and emotional support. We raise funds through our LIVESTRONG Challenge series and Team LIVESTRONG events which provide a community of empowerment for survivors. 100% of donations raised by Team LIVESTRONG participants directly support the foundation. As of January 2011, LIVESTRONG has invested more than $104 million in education and programs, $65 million in grants and awards and $33 million in advocacy and engagement.

LIVESTRONG was founded in 1997 by Lance Armstrong two years prior to his first Tour de France win, as he waited to learn whether his cancer treatment had been successful. To date, the single largest individual contributor to LIVESTRONG is Lance, who has donated more than $6.3 million to the foundation. Lance devotes significant personal time and resources to further the cause of the foundation without any compensation or expectation thereof.  He headlines numerous LIVESTRONG events each year and makes appearances on our behalf, utilizes his social media audience to promote our mission, incorporates foundation causes into his professional cycling endeavors and has been instrumental in opening doors for us to establish partnerships that will sustain our activities for years to come. Lance’s efforts have provided our cause a level of global visibility we couldn’t hope to achieve without him.

The LIVESTRONG team is proud of its governance and transparent financial history.  Our financial statements, Form 990s and audit reports are all available on our website, as required by law, and we welcome anyone, anywhere to learn more about our history and work at

Wax Off

You’ll notice Rae didn’t get into the dollar-by-dollar, line item-level discussion that I initially expected (but which would have been a little bit redundant to this post from a year ago), and I think that this was probably the right thing to do, in this context.


Like with politics or religion, people who have given anything Lance-related more than a little thought seem to have pretty hardened opinions. They love him, or they hate him. Opposing arguments aren’t going to change opinions, but will instead very likely just escalate the heat of the exchange.

So why engage in the battle at all?

For myself, I’m just going to say that my experience with every single person I’ve dealt with at LiveStrong has been not just positive but extremely positive. These are smart, ethical people with a sense of purpose and a keen awareness that the money they spend is money someone else gave up. And they do good things, both on macro and micro levels.

For me, that’s more than sufficient reason to continue supporting them.

Do Something

Mark is a good friend of mine who also happens to just hate Lance. I mean, just hates him, with an intensity of hate I can summon only for boiled okra.

But here’s the thing: Mark spends both time and money raising money for other cancer-fighting organizations.

And as far as I’m concerned, that’s awesome.

There’s enough bad stuff going on in the world that, frankly, all that really matters is that we each do something good. I don’t care if you’re helping out LiveStrong, or Komen, or Huntsman. Or if you’re working to fight MS. Or diabetes. Or autism. Or world hunger. Or any of any number of critical causes.

Just do something.

(Mark was, incidentally, also one of the people, who, in my recent Johan Bruyneel fake news piece, used my comment space to talk about his donation philosophy instead of saying “LOL!, Awesome post!!!” as he should have, but I’ll deal with him regarding that in person.)

Do Something With Me, If You Want

As I’ve mentioned before, I plan to continue supporting LiveStrong. If you’re so inclined, maybe you should join me. Team Fatty: Fighting Like Susan would love to have you as a member.

But even if you’re not wanting to work with LiveStrong, count on me still wanting your help. I’m going to be branching out a little bit this year. I’m still going to be focusing on cancer, but want to spend my energy in some new ways:

Huntsman Cancer Foundation: Huntsman does a lot of work researching for a cure, as well as treating those who do have cancer. When Susan needed her hip replaced, we went to Huntsman and were blown away by the quality and kindness we saw. This year, I’m going to do at least one fundraiser to help this organization.

Getting Involved Locally: The hospital The Runner works at is hard at work debuting a new half-marathon this year, with all proceeds going to help those who have cancer but don’t have money for good treatment. Both The Runner and I are signed up to be on various committees and help however we can. And you can bet that I’ll be involving all of you, including those of you who live nowhere near Utah. I’ll explain more soon.

The Caretaker’s Companion: I learned a lot as I took care of Susan, especially during her last year. I expect that every other person who has ever taken care of another person with cancer has also learned a lot, and that those of us who have been through this fire could help those who are having to deal with it.

This year, I am going to work on a self-published book — The Best of Fatty — and use the money from it to start working on a website and eventually a book that will help caretakers share tips and insights we’ve gained as we helped our loved ones.

My dream is to — someday — make this my full time work, and it’s time for me to at least take the first step.

Whether you help me with my projects and cause, or you’re busy taking on your own projects and cause: thanks.


  1. Comment by Alison | 01.10.2011 | 1:29 pm

    Terrific post. You’re right, we all should be doing something, regardless of the charity or cause. Simply using our humanity and capacity to work for something positive in the world. I can’t wait for “The Best of Fatty”, and will be ordering multiple copies to share with everyone who needs some good laughs and inspiration. Cheers.

  2. Comment by owen | 01.10.2011 | 1:29 pm

    “LOL!, Awesome post!!!”

  3. Comment by Jill | 01.10.2011 | 1:34 pm

    This sums it up:
    “There’s enough bad stuff going on in the world that, frankly, all that really matters is that we each do something good.”

    If you don’t like a particular cause, then don’t participate but do some thing for someone somewhere and at some point no matter how small.

  4. Comment by Shawn | 01.10.2011 | 1:35 pm

    Kudos! Thanks for sharing the heart of what this is all about!

  5. Comment by Janet B | 01.10.2011 | 1:35 pm

    Sometimes the first step is a leap. I can’t wait to see the book.

  6. Comment by cyclist_who_is_actually_fat | 01.10.2011 | 1:47 pm


    You’re still skinny aren’t you?

    Do you have any idea how galling it is that you get to be famous under the deceptive moniker “fatcyclist”, meanwhile people like ME, who are actually FAT cyclists suffer tirelessly under the radar, being forced to ride bikes and use equipment that didn’t just magically show up at our door for free?

    On behalf of all the cyclists out there who are fat, and not famous, and don’t get free stuff: EAT SOMETHING. Hell, eat anything. In fact, eat everything. You owe it to your readers.

    Otherwise, it’s time to pass on that “fatcyclist” crown to someone with more to give. If you know what I mean. And you probably don’t because you’ve been skinny for so so very long, you probably don’t even remember how to pronounce the word “fat”.

    sincerly, fatcyclist wannabe.

  7. Comment by Aaron | 01.10.2011 | 1:51 pm

    You are an amazing person who has given of themself. You have been nothing but correct and respectful. I will continue to support you and LiveStrong as I believe too they all are honorable people, as I have interacted with them on a personal level. Oh and I love the direction you are taking and hope you can succed at it. Best of Luck

  8. Comment by Uphillbattle | 01.10.2011 | 1:54 pm

    Thanks, Fatty! I agree that each can support his/her own cause…the point is TO HAVE A CAUSE! Just DO SOMTHING! Something is always better than nothing! Can’t wait for the book. Hurry up already!

  9. Comment by Skippy | 01.10.2011 | 1:57 pm

    Great post and good news that you are helping “The Runners” personal charity site.
    Already tipped off CNF that there are “facts” instead of rumour & conjecture to chew on !
    Stopped one of their threads with my posts , so they sent the following

  10. Comment by Tom Fury | 01.10.2011 | 2:18 pm

    Wait a minute. I LOVE okra.

    But you’re right – those of us that have, must do.

  11. Comment by Erik | 01.10.2011 | 2:20 pm

    LIVESTRONG is my extended family. The care and support they gave me and Mom during Dad’s lung cancer fight was phenomenal. I may not always agree with everything said and done by everyone at LIVESTRONG, but then again, families don’t always agree on everything.

  12. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 01.10.2011 | 2:34 pm

    Well said.

  13. Comment by Kevin | 01.10.2011 | 2:51 pm

    Yes, well said Erik. My experiences with LIVESTRONG have been much the same and I am paying them back tenfold with my support. I am forever grateful and quite distressed by those that negate my experiences and choice.

  14. Comment by AngieG | 01.10.2011 | 2:53 pm

    Great post Fatty!! Make sure you include us in your fund raising for The Runner’s hospital.

    I remember an email string that came around a while back about living your dash (that little hyphen between the date you were born and the date you passed which basically represents your time on this beautiful planet) Well it really resonanted with me and made me truly think about how I would want to be remembered.

    I discovered that too often we are so busy running from thing to thing to remember that there are 86,400 opportunities for us every day to leave something positive. Whether it’s raising money for a favored cause or helping an elderly neighbor.

    You always provide great opportunities to help me make those seconds really count.

    Thanks :-)

  15. Comment by Dan O | 01.10.2011 | 2:55 pm

    Awesome post.

    As a cancer suvivor, and 3 time bone marrow transplant recipient as part of my own personal battle with cancer, I couldn’t agree more with the “get out and do something” approach. We all win that way. I will be there in Austin next year for the 2011 Livestrong Challenge just like I was the last two, this time though, I hope to be completely cancer free. BTW, Huntsman is awesome, my Hematologist worked there several years ago, and has taken his experience there to Denver, where he treats many patients with extreme care and compassion.

    Life is good


  16. Comment by Richard | 01.10.2011 | 2:59 pm

    Thanks for the post Fatty! It is the only thing I’ve read lately that makes any sense. If people would just focus their energy to doing something good instead of tearing something down, we would be a much better place. You can bank on my continued support.

  17. Comment by katie | 01.10.2011 | 3:20 pm

    Props to you for getting to the root if it – it doesn’t matter how you help, just do something. Awesome.

  18. Comment by LiveSTRONG4Life | 01.10.2011 | 3:27 pm

    Well said!! I truly admire people who can take a step back, and instead of lashing-out in a tirade, can actually clearly and calmly present an objective position that rises above the clamor. In a way, I enjoy being “queried” about my LS passion, as it does make me think deeply and reaffirm my choice to use LiveSTRONG (and my bicycle) to do good and kick cancer’s ass. Thank You!!

  19. Comment by George | 01.10.2011 | 3:32 pm

    No, no, no… thank you, Fatty.

  20. Comment by Jennebelle | 01.10.2011 | 3:42 pm

    Awesome post and I completely agree! I do most of my work for local cancer organizations (in Saskatchewan, Canada) because that is where I see the most help coming from but I don’t mind donating to anyone trying to make a difference (no matter who the “celebrity” is). It shouldn’t be about the face on the campaign but about what they do for the millions that need the actual help.

    Thanks for all your hard work Fatty and I will support you in any way I can, no matter what the cause! Can’t wait for the caretakers (careGIVERS) site! And good luck on achieving your dream!

  21. Comment by Mandy | 01.10.2011 | 3:48 pm

    Right on Fatty. Just do something to give cancer the finger. Or MS. Or ALS. Or…

  22. Comment by Race Radio | 01.10.2011 | 3:48 pm

    Funny, no mention of the $2,000,000 in travel? No mention of the for profit website?

  23. Comment by oCoMiK | 01.10.2011 | 3:49 pm

    I don’t disagree with you on the just do something front. Where I am concerned is the duplicity that takes place in trying to address this disease. I don’t have to tell you, cancer funding is nowhere near the level of other diseases yet impacts so many. Duplicity costs dollars that could be better used for fighting other aspects of this disease. Honestly, how many cancer support websites do we really need? Is what your proposing not already being addressed by others in the game? Why not continue working through them?

    Please understand that I’m not trying to being flippant. I won’t begin to try and say I understand the road you’ve had to travel over the last three years. What you’ve done for Livestrong and the cancer community is to be commended. Just please don’t lose sight of the ulitimate goal, which is to eradicate this disease so others do not have to suffer as we have.


  24. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.10.2011 | 4:10 pm

    cCoMik – You asked: Is what your proposing not already being addressed by others in the game?

    Actually, no. If you want to get survivor care and address survivorhood issues, Livestrong is the place.

    People complain that Livestrong does not do enough to fund cancer cure research. Well, they do some of that, but if funding research is what you think needs doing, you probably should go to another charity.

    Survivor issues often get overlooked. And they are of critical improtance. Livestrong is the place for that.

  25. Comment by mark | 01.10.2011 | 4:12 pm

    LOL!, Awesome post!!!

    And I’m with you on the hatred of boiled okra. Boiled okra is terrible. Fried okra on the other hand…

  26. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.10.2011 | 4:13 pm

    also oCoMik – (sorry I misspelled your moniker on the previous) Did you mean duplication, perhaps, rather than duplicity?

    Duplicity has a meaning that is similar to hypocrisy. At first I thought you were being snarky. Upon re-reading, I decided you were sincere, and did not really mean duplicity. OR perhaps I am unaware of such a meaning for duplicity?

  27. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.10.2011 | 4:28 pm

    RaceRadio – 0% of the funds raised from the for profit site come from Livestrong events or donated money.

    What is your point? That profit is evil?

  28. Comment by bob | 01.10.2011 | 4:28 pm

    RaceRadio: Leave it on the CN forums, this isn’t the place. You’re one of the reasons the CN forums are unreadable anymore.

  29. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 01.10.2011 | 4:49 pm

    Fatty – you continue to inspire me! Way to keep using your powers for good.

  30. Comment by Paulscarlett | 01.10.2011 | 5:12 pm

    Nicely said Fatty.
    Just put your hand in your pockets, pull out some notes and GIVE. your don’t like team A, then give to team B, don’t like either of them, then do some reseach and give to team C.

  31. Comment by Philly Jen | 01.10.2011 | 5:14 pm

    Ooooh, oooooh, oooooh!

    *** Troll Alert! ***

    You know what this means: Trollhouse Cookies Raffle!!! Yeah, it’s on, baby.

    Every $5 you donate between now and 11:59pm Pacific Time on Sunday (1/16) gets you a chance at winning a batch of the one and only giant Trollhouse Cookies.

    Homemade, with love! Vitriol-free! Totally fattening!

    P.S. The closest I come to having a private jet is when I drink too many carbonated beverages before a ride. Now you know.

  32. Comment by Richard | 01.10.2011 | 5:14 pm

    RaceRadio: I agree with bob and Clydesteve.

  33. Comment by HKeylin | 01.10.2011 | 5:17 pm

    I support Livestrong for one simple reason. Cancer affects us all and they will be there for you when you need them. I haven’t needed them yet, but just knowing they will be there giving me what nobody else does is enough.

    Their mission is very different than other cancer related charities, which is why is is so valuable.

    Thank you Lance.

  34. Comment by eandjmum | 01.10.2011 | 5:17 pm

    Elden… Fatty… I live in New Zealand and always find your posts inspiring. In fact I have donated several times to fabulous causes that you ask your readers to donate to…. I also support N.Z. Neurological Foundation as my grandfather had dementia… As others have said what is important is that we do something :-)

  35. Comment by DeanS | 01.10.2011 | 5:18 pm

    Right On Fatty!!!Right On

  36. Comment by Russell | 01.10.2011 | 5:33 pm

    Nice post. I’m with you on the boiled okra. Fried okra however is mana from heaven.

  37. Comment by Eric | 01.10.2011 | 6:23 pm

    Great post Elden! Love or hate Lance – he is devoted to find a cure, help and support! I’ve enjoyed your site for some time now and it just gets better. Let us know when that book is complete!


  38. Comment by Rachel | 01.10.2011 | 6:37 pm

    Dammit Elden, you made me cry again! I really admire you and am thankful for all that you do! Thanks for the laughs too!!!

  39. Comment by BamaJim | 01.10.2011 | 7:27 pm

    Good, thoughtful post Fatty. Thankfully, I don’t have the firsthand experience with Livestrong that you do, but from what you and others have related, they do get support from me. (Much less support than some other charities I favor, but as you note, everyone has to work that out on their own.)

  40. Comment by Scott in MN | 01.10.2011 | 8:10 pm

    First I got my prize today for losing weight before Christmas. Thank you very much. I will be sending something to you to cover the shipping and handling.

    Second, great post — very well said. So well, in fact, I’m making another donation to Livestrong. My wife and I have always supported Livestrong and have been wearing a Livestrong band since I first saw it in Bicycling Magazine right as they came out. It is, and will continue to be one of our main charities. My wife as a Family Practice physician has the unfortunate task of diagnosing cancer. She always gives Livestrong as an invaluable resource for them. I know they also were key in helping a good friend and her family before she lost her battle.

    Keep up the good work, my friend. Livestrong and Ride Hard.

  41. Comment by Janeak | 01.10.2011 | 8:10 pm

    Your ability to bring everything into perspective is wonderful!

    When can I buy your book????

  42. Comment by Paul Guyot | 01.10.2011 | 8:13 pm

    I’m shamed that I engaged in the discussion that had no place anywhere on your site. I am sorry.

    “Just do something.”

    If everyone followed this philosophy, not only would cancer be begging for mercy, but I dare say so much of the hate in our country, so much of the polarization of politics, would vanish.

    You’re a good human, Fatty.

  43. Comment by roan | 01.10.2011 | 8:51 pm

    Great post. Since finding this blogsite I have given more donations to fighting diseases, kidney, cancer, ms and you opened my eyes…thanks. Cycling has always been a passion and the match for me is perfect.
    Only wish I could give more.
    Now about okra, luv it fried or in a stew, even on the side out of the can. Besides okra is so darn cute too.

  44. Comment by Squirrelhead | 01.10.2011 | 9:12 pm

    Well said Fatty! My whole goal in life this year is to get in better shape while making a positive difference in the world. I cannot think of a better way to do that than all of these events. Keep up the good work!

  45. Comment by AndyH | 01.10.2011 | 9:16 pm

    I’m with ya Fatty.

  46. Comment by Bridget in Minnesota | 01.10.2011 | 9:45 pm


    If I were made of money, I would support tons of charities. As it is, our family has a memorial golf tournament followed by a picnic dinner in our yard each September. We do this in memory of our first daughter who died of a brain tumor in 1997, shortly after she turned five.

    All the proceeds have gone towards holiday meals, toys, games, puzzles, arcade games and more for the Hematology/Oncology floor where she received such kind care. We want to do what we can to make help other children feel less frightened and more welcomed during those hospital stays.

    I will do my best to support our cause as well as those of all your readers, Fatty.

    My best to you…

  47. Comment by Dagwood | 01.10.2011 | 10:00 pm

    Thanks again!
    I can’t wait to ride near your entourage in Davis!

  48. Comment by Janine | 01.10.2011 | 10:12 pm

    I have used Livestrong and the ACS for help answering my cancer questions and love both organizations. I have done events for them as well as Komen and events for other diseases as well. Every group needs help out there especially in this economy. Can I give a HUGE shout out to the Huntsman Cancer Institute?! I didn’t use any of their doctors but received FREE genetic counseling, FREE nutritional counseling, FREE use of the cancer library and saw one of their bc social workers for FREE several times. They really helped me out.

  49. Comment by ScottR | 01.10.2011 | 11:19 pm

    While I’m not sure the generic blurb/press release from LiveStrong was worth posting, everything else on this entry was an excellent read. I’m excited to see what this year brings in the ‘Life of Fatty’.

  50. Comment by Skippy | 01.11.2011 | 12:59 am

    PEOPLE ARE RIGHT ,”race radio” has no place on this discussion , it or a buddy had my notice of this posting closed down by the adjudicator.
    Blinded by hate they don’t want facts but stomp on all who are open minded, fact is their sad life revolves around cnf rather than doing good.

    Those on cnf should be thinking up ways to HELP people raise more money instead of regurgitating rumour and innuendo.

    When people stop supporting cn , then their forum will get closed down and they can put their talent to better use.

    Survivorship is so rarely addressed that people forget how important “positive thinking” is as a tool for recovery.

  51. Comment by Jimmy | 01.11.2011 | 1:12 am

    Not too tolerant of someone asking the tough questions, huh? I think RR asks a perfectly legitimate couple of questions. Blind allegiance just isn’t good for anyone. I’m a cancer survivor, by the way, so you have to listen to me!

  52. Comment by Jenn | 01.11.2011 | 1:30 am

    As always, well said on all counts, Fatty.

  53. Comment by mark | 01.11.2011 | 1:37 am

    and like roaches they scurry around in the dark.

    Jimmy, nope I’m not tolerant toward anyone ramming their point of view down MY throat in a cyber duel. Go spout your faux vitriol back at your CN home please. You don’t speak for me and my experiences.

  54. Comment by buckythedonkey | 01.11.2011 | 1:49 am

    Hear, hear!

  55. Comment by Jenn | 01.11.2011 | 1:50 am

    Also, @ Philly Jen – you crack me up. Look me up if you’re ever in Germany and need a riding buddy – we’d get along very well (as long as I’m not drafting on you during beverage aftermath).

  56. Comment by Roland | 01.11.2011 | 2:47 am

    I’m sorry to interrupt your self-congratulatory back-slapping but it seems to me a lot of you are missing the point. It is not just about “getting out there and doing something”, what you are doing has to DO something otherwise you are just wasting your own time and the money that you are raising, which is also unfair on the people who make donations to you. You must not lose track of why you are “doing something”. Is it a) to make yourself feel better that you are giving something back, helping to fight the disease that you/your loved one was lucky to survive, or in their memory, i.e. a selfish reason? Or is it b) to actually make a substantive effort to help fight the disease? If b) (which is the only valid reason), you have a responsibility to ensure that your effort is going to help fight the disease. You therefore have a responsibility to ensure that the charity you are raising money for will use those funds responsibly and legitimately. Ask yourselves, really ask yourselves, why you are “doing something”, and are you “doing something” in the best way you can. And that includes thinking seriously about the charity you are raising funds for, and not just believing the spin you are fed.

  57. Comment by Anne | 01.11.2011 | 3:03 am

    Great post. As a Livestrong leader I feel I make a difference. I lost my mother to breastcancer many years and ago. Today s friend of mine is fighting stage 4 espphageal cancer.
    See his fundraising page

  58. Comment by Patrick | 01.11.2011 | 3:26 am

    “There’s enough bad stuff going on in the world that, frankly, all that really matters is that we each do something good.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more Fatty.

  59. Comment by Cannonball | 01.11.2011 | 4:38 am

    Great post Fatty.

    I just read all the responses so far, and it is clear that the vast majority of your readers and fans are people who care and share that love with their time, their efforts, and their money. And then there are the (very) few out there who would rather spit venom than offer something constructive. It is clear that Lance Armstrong and the Livestrong organization have been important in countless cancer survivors’ lives–and continue to do so. In the end that’s all that matters.

    Keep up the great work!

  60. Comment by Mary from NC | 01.11.2011 | 5:28 am

    great post fatty. As a winner of the 10 lb challenge, got my 101 miles to nowhere tshirt…and dammit now I am considering doing it this year for the first time (how else can I wear the shirt?).

  61. Comment by Cardiac Kid | 01.11.2011 | 6:51 am

    Well done Fatty.

  62. Comment by Jenni | 01.11.2011 | 7:51 am

    Sorry guys, I found that answer from Livestrong completely unsatisfying and feel like we deserve a more precise answer to the tough questions that were asked. Seems like we got a copy/paste version of some stock answer and it just didn’t do it for me.


  63. Comment by muskyhunter | 01.11.2011 | 8:09 am

    Have you tried fried okra?

    Anyway, can we ever really know the truth about any of these organizations? If you google them, you can always find something negative. I think I will continue to support whoever and have faith that they will do the right thing with my money.

    Thank you Fatty for leading by example.

  64. Comment by Race Radio | 01.11.2011 | 9:38 am

    Interesting, I presented some facts and am immediately shouted down.

    As I have said I find Fatty inspiring. I have been a fan of his for years. His enthusiasm is contagious and the dignity and class with which he has handled adversity is impressive.

    It concerns me that livestrong travel expenses were $2,000,000 last year. The National Cancer Coalition, with 5 times as much money raised, had only $108,559.

    Legal, Advertising, Travel, and Salaries equal 61% of costs at Livestrong. Grants? only 14%

    Advertising is $4,000,000 per year, but what are they advertising? If you look at any Livestrong ads the vast majority say “Livestrong” with a picture of Lance. Which Livestrong are they advertising? The for profit? It appear that is the case as the traffic to the for profit website has exploded while the .org is flat.

    I am not the only person who is troubled by Armstrong personally profiting from the Charity

    ///”This blurs the lines between the foundation and its charitable mission, and the personal gain of its founder,” said Ken Berger, president and executive director of Charity Navigator. “It’s mixing two purposes in a way that smells of a conflict of interest. The most precious thing a charitable organization has is the public’s trust, and things like this put a chink in that.”

    Daniel Borochoff, founder and president of the American Institute of Philanthropy in Chicago, said he was uncomfortable with the arrangement, especially because Armstrong remains chairman of the board of the foundation. “Nonprofits have to be concerned not only with actual conflicts of interest, but the appearance of conflicts of interest,” Borochoff said.”///

    I think that Fatty has handled this with class. Instead of attacking those that asked questions as hatters he paused and reached out to Livestrong for an answer. Unfortunately all he received back was a cut and paste.

    Anyone who cares about where the money they have raised goes to should ask questions. Does it go to Private Jets or does it go to research? Does it go to raise awareness of a cause or raise awareness of a person and drive traffic to his for profit website?

  65. Comment by grannygear | 01.11.2011 | 10:49 am

    Can’t we all just get back to more photo shopped photos of Kenny. The thong thing still brings tears.
    Nicely said today Fatty.

  66. Comment by nh_joe | 01.11.2011 | 11:06 am

    Great post – if you don’t like Livestrong, donate to another charity.

    Like bikesnobNYC said in his book: If you are right on some level then you should be able to make your point in a rational tone.

  67. Comment by Heidi | 01.11.2011 | 11:15 am

    You go, Fatty!

  68. Comment by run-girl-run | 01.11.2011 | 11:19 am

    Dear Fatty,
    My father in-law was just diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer. Please finish and publish your book soon so I can buy several copies. We’re going to need them.

  69. Comment by Malleus | 01.11.2011 | 11:55 am

    What, exactly, is wrong with boiled okra?

  70. Comment by steve | 01.11.2011 | 12:46 pm

    Perhaps you should organize something for Huntsman for LOTOJA. Count me in for any fundraiser supporting the amazing Huntsman Center. I say that as part of the pro-Lance world.

  71. Comment by Erik | 01.11.2011 | 1:20 pm


    My Dad fought and beat cancer 3 times, the 4th time it killed him. During that 4th battle he opted in to 4 different clinical trials, with the hope that his cancer experiences – however they turned out – would go to help other people. I was there when Dad died, holding his hands. I saw Dad’s doctor cry when he pronounced him. I have never seen a doctor cry.

    LIVESTRONG didn’t have to call my house, ask me how me and Mom were doing, they didn’t have to send me a handwritten sympathy card signed by most of the LIVESTRONG HQ staff, they didn’t have to do anything other than send me info on cancer care, treatment and their guidebooks. They reached out because they truly care. I’ve met these people in person, looked into their eyes. They understand, they “get it”.

    I give back to LIVESTRONG because they helped me and Mom, and because Dad’s last words to me were to “keep fighting, no matter what.” If all this adds up to reason A in your comment, then I’ll gladly own up to it.

    BUT, I believe that all of us that have been touched by cancer want to see this disease completely wiped out. Short of doing actual clinical research ourselves, working through a cancer organization such as LIVESTRONG is the only way we can make the substantive effort of which you speak.

    As I said earlier, I don’t always agree with what LIVESTRONG says or does, but I believe they have done the most to raise cancer awareness and champion patient advocacy.

  72. Comment by cocoaustin | 01.11.2011 | 2:21 pm

    Awesome post!!! As usual Elden, you are right on. Everyone should just do something and help a cause they are passionate about. Thanks for always making us laugh… we all need to do that a little more as well!

  73. Comment by HeidiR | 01.11.2011 | 4:07 pm

    Excellent post! One of the things I learned about Livestrong when I first donated was that they provide SUPPORT, not money for research. Yes, the research is extremely important, but support during and after treatment is just as important! I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when I was just 22 years old, about eight years before Lance started Livestrong. To this day, I wish I had had access to that kind of support and information! Even the encouragement to seek counseling after diagnosis is significant. So, yes, you said it: do something!! whether it’s money or moral support.

  74. Comment by Barbara | 01.11.2011 | 5:14 pm

    Well said, Fatty. You have a lot of class. Thanks!

  75. Comment by Kim in SD | 01.11.2011 | 5:18 pm

    Fatty – thanks.

    I toyally agree just do something, and it SHOULD make you feel better; better about yourself, the other volunteers and whatever cause you’re supporting. It’s more than ok to just be a be a well meaning adult that volunteers or raises money…its even ok if doing those things help you earn a living. Everything single thing we do doesn’t have to be earth-shatteringly awesome…it just needs to be something.

  76. Comment by run-girl-run | 01.12.2011 | 8:57 am

    @erik Thanks for sharing that.

  77. Comment by Becky | 01.12.2011 | 2:12 pm

    (Mark…used my comment space to talk about his donation philosophy instead of saying “LOL!, Awesome post!!!” as he should have, but I’ll deal with him regarding that in person.)

    There are “rules” for comments now?

  78. Comment by Dim | 01.12.2011 | 4:53 pm

    My question would be how a cancer awareness charity can have over 9 MILLION DOLLARS in legal bills in one year. SIX MILLION DOLLARS in salaries.. Someone is making a vast amount of money from well intentioned donations. That to me is wrong.

    The other BIG issue I have is that there are two companies, one a charitable foundation, and one a profit making company that share the same name. The .org and .com have become so inextricably linked that you have to wonder how many people really know the difference.
    When the .org spend money on advertising, are they PURELY advertising the .org or does the .com benefit (ultimately financially and in a profit making way) from that advertising. Does the .com make money as a result of the .org’s publicity.

    A simple example, and question. How would the public feel if Oxfam for example, as well as being a charity, ran a dotcom company that was profit making, with shareholders. It has the same name, just .com on the end, and is registered as a profit making enterpirse. How would you feel if there was as well as savethechildren a savethechildren.COM profit making company with shareholders.

    How about on one hand, the red cross (the charity) and then REDCROSS.COM which was OWNED BY INDIVIDUALS WHO WERE ON THE BAORD OF THE CHARITY, but the .com was there to make money for its shareholders. How Would we feel about those boardmembers on the charity, who were also profiting financially from the profit making side. Is there a conflict of intrest.

    Lance profits from – For me, that is wrong.

  79. Comment by Dim | 01.12.2011 | 5:06 pm

    As a follow on to my previous post. Here are a couple of links showing the amount of traffic the .org and the .com recieve
    As you can see, ranked 36,000ish in the US
    Average % share over 3 months – 0.00191

    Now lets take a look at
    ranked inside the top 400
    average share over 3 months – 0.10180

    For those with poor maths, that means that the PROFIT MAKING .com has over 100x the traffic of the .org

    lance promotes livestrong, we see the yellow bands everywhere, but what are they really promoting.. The foundation that is ranked outside the top 35000 visited websites in America (which really is awful), or the profit making .com that is in the top 400??????

  80. Comment by Dim | 01.12.2011 | 5:14 pm

    You have to ask, for all the publicity Livestrong do, isnt being the 36,000th most popular website in America a pretty poor return on their investment?

    While the profit making .com is one of the most popular.. Strange?

  81. Comment by Rube | 01.12.2011 | 7:59 pm

    Look, surely we can all agree, even if the head of a charity does prove to be a cheater and a liar that does not mean we should question his character or suspect his motives in promoting his brand “Livestrong”.

    You need to think positive like the rest of us, only then will you understand that subjecting behavior to scrutiny is negative and unproductive to the bottom line. Think positive and most of all Live strong.

  82. Comment by William | 01.12.2011 | 8:48 pm

    The response by the Livestrong shill says everything, by saying actually nothing. I have nothing for or against Armstrong, but his foundation is a sham. If you actually want to help people, send your money elsewhere.

  83. Comment by bill | 01.12.2011 | 9:23 pm

    Oh dear God – “Invasion of the CN Bully Boy Gang”.

  84. Comment by bob | 01.12.2011 | 10:48 pm

    Dim: Your argument is a nonstarter because it’s a single nonprofit groups’ *.org website out of how many hundreds of millions of domains registered in the US alone? The argument is myopic and completely misleading because the Alexa rankings don’t break out the difference between any type of domain so that ranking is in the same list as google, yahoo, facebook, bing, twitter, blogger, espn, etc. Actually a charity site being ranked about 36,000 out of millions of sites is pretty damn good. So what if .com gets more hits, it should because it’s a commercial site.

    And while we’re discussing site rankings let’s look at because you guys like to bring that one up for a comparison. Their site ranking is right about 30,000 on the same US ranking list which isn’t that far above in the big picture and they deal with 10 times the amount of money that does. Why are they that low to? Because even though it’s well known it’s still just a charity *.org site. Even the Red Cross site with nearly 13,000 linked referral sites is around 8,000 on the US traffic list.

    Good try but next time use an argument that’s not already slanted negative.

  85. Comment by Dim | 01.13.2011 | 5:32 am

    Bill. Bullying is despicable. I certainly am part of no bullying.

    Bob. While i agree with some of what youve said, rankings can be deceptive (although ive never heard of being british), it misses the point I was trying to raise. That is that the .com enjoys an immense amount of traffic, whereas the .org for all the publicity, and all the “awareness” performs no better than most charities and worse than many.

    Which raises the crucial question again, does the profit making arm of livestrong BENEFIT from the work and money spent by the foundation?

    You say “So what if .com gets more hits, it should because it’s a commercial site.”

    Should it really? Should the .com be more succesful. Is livestrong about Cancer or the commercial arm? Again, which side of the fence do the livestrong advertising dollars really benefit?

    If the foundations site was and lance’s profit making site was (with no I would have no issue. Its the grey area created by the two entities sharing a name that I have real issues with.

    As I said in my original post, how would you feel if oxfam had a profit making arm, with the shareholders also being trustees on the board at the charity…?

    You did well do come back with statistics, but not so well at answering the original questions I posed.

  86. Comment by Dim | 01.13.2011 | 5:33 am

    I will point out I have no issue with the work livestrong does in helping the families/survivors of cancer. None at all. I think the carers etc do a great job.

    I just have issues with the fact that demand media/lance are making massive amounts of money indirectly from the laf, and issues with the sky high amounts laf spend on legal and salaries.

  87. Comment by becky | 01.13.2011 | 9:10 am

    Sorry to hijack a little here-I need some input on how to ask people for money. I want to raise the necessary funds in order to participate in the Susan G. Komen ride for the cure. I think I will have some challenges with that. In order to get my significant husband to ride with me I will have to raise his money too. Seems daunting. Help!

  88. Comment by bob | 01.13.2011 | 6:20 pm

    I see you’re working the same line of baloney on Twitter as well Dim, you seem to be spending a lot of time on this when it’s not really a “good investment.” If it bothers you so much just don’t donate and stop wasting your time. If Oxfam had a profit making arm I’m pretty they would be putting money back into the nonprofit just like Lance does. You may have missed the stat above that notes Lance is the biggest donator to with $6+ million dollars so far.

    And c’mon you REALLY can’t figure out why *.com gets so many more hits?? Take a look at the top 20 list of referral sites for both and .com. Take out the obvious scam links and what’s left? The same referring sites!

    The simple answer to your question is human nature on the web, when people aren’t sure what a sites’ correct name is they will put “.com” on the url by default when they start typing it.

    As I said if it bothers you so much stop wasting time on it like I have with cycling news.

  89. Comment by bob | 01.13.2011 | 6:24 pm

    Tell you what Dim I’ll donate so you don’t have to and you can stop letting it bother you so much. Fair enough?

  90. Comment by Scott Joy | 01.13.2011 | 6:50 pm

    “…my experience with every single person I’ve dealt with at LIVESTRONG has been not just positive but extremely positive. These are smart, ethical people with a sense of purpose and a keen awareness that the money they spend is money someone else gave up. And they do good things, both on macro and micro levels.”

    Fatty, your experience matches mine as though one of us used tracing paper. I’m in for the long haul. And attitude really is everything.

  91. Comment by CancerSurvivingCyclist | 01.16.2011 | 9:12 am

    And now, one of the group of ultimate fanboys chimes in as Scott Joy leads the cheers for the ever shrinking crowd of believers in the frauds that are Armstrong and his “Foundation”. (How many free trips HAVE you gotten to Austin from the this ‘NPO” Scott by continually badgering people for donations to LieStrong?)

    It’s easy to support an organization that continually showers you with attention and perks. Let’s see what happens when the SI ‘truth bomb’ is released next week.

  92. Comment by Scott Joy | 01.16.2011 | 8:08 pm

    How should I respond to such wrong and hurtful comments directed at me on someone else’s blog? I could look the other way. I could dispute each point and offer a very different perspective. I could call out the person I suspect posted it or try responding by private e-mail. Nothing seems quite right.

    CancerSurvivingCyclist, I hope you find a way to “keep moving forward.”

  93. Comment by Colin | 01.17.2011 | 7:05 pm

    Dim, RaceRadio, Roland, etc. please just go back to your mutual admiration society (aka Cycling News Forum). You are the reason I no longer read CN. Thanks for your attempts to “educate” everyone here but please just go away.

  94. Comment by Dim | 01.18.2011 | 6:30 pm

    Colin, its not about attempting to educate, its about entering conversation.
    But rather than try and deny the facts (because deap down you know they are true) you just play the go away card.
    Im not attempting anything, Im putting up facts, asking questions, and getting no answers.
    The SI article makes interesting reading anyway. Nice to see someone finally touching on the doping in the olympic team. Maybe now the mainstream press will now explain how Armstrong got cancer in the first place. Shame the meatier stuff about the livestrong fraud got canned after Lances Lawyers got on the case. Que Sera.

  95. Comment by Skippy | 01.30.2011 | 7:54 am

    THOSE FROM CNF who can read visit and comment here:

    Preaching your version of the “truth according to CNF” is not wanted in Fatty’s comment section !

    People come here to enjoy a little light relief whilst at the Office or at home , they most certainly do not wish to be treated like Geese being force fed “BS” to produce “Foie Gras”!

    DISCUSSION CLOSED HERE, i for one will not revisit this blog entry ! UNDERSTOOD?CAPICE ?


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