Saturday, January 19, 2013
Dear Lance Armstrong,
In 2004 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I searched for a story of hope, a symbol of triumph over cancer. You became that symbol of a champion as a cancer survivor who not only beat cancer, but rose again as a champion in sports and life. My friends donned your yellow bracelets in support to remind me that I, too, could beat cancer and rise again.  Whether you wanted to or not, you became the positive role model I so desperately needed to wage the war of my life.

When rumors swirled about doping, I defended you. I would remind people that a stage 4 cancer survivor would not take drugs known to cause cancer. I debated fiercely with my friends that someone guilty of such allegations could not possibly pass hundreds of tests and have the audacity to sue or threaten people who claimed he played dirty.

Many are upset that you lied to your sport. I'm upset that you lied to me.  The example you tried to project told me that your body was an incredible machine that could beat cancer and you were stronger for the fight.  It was all a lie. You weren't stronger or healthier.  You didn't triumph by determination and strength. You took the coward's path. You cheated.

You broke my heart, or so I thought. As I took your picture down from my wall I realized there is something for which I can thank you. You made me realize that I didn't need an example of what appeared to be super-human strength. The real truth is that within me, and others facing cancer,  is champion enough - a champion who faced the raw truth of cancer and is truly stronger for having done so.


Two-time Cancer Survivor
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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