I mentioned in my last post that there are two things I find particularly upsetting about the Lance Armstrong affair. The first is what it means for my son to have deal with a fallen hero. The other has to do with LIVESTRONG, an ironic name for an organization founded by a man who, in the end, lived weak.
Eight years ago my mother-in-law died of mesothelioma. She was buried with a LIVESTRONG bracelet. LIVESTRONG has been a favored charity of ours as well. Neither she nor I ever benefited directly from their services, but we believed in the work of the organization.
I do not personally believe that Armstrong’s actions reflect on the organization he founded, most especially since he has put distance between the two, presumably in hopes that his good works can overcome his exceedingly poor judgement. I believe we can only condem LIVESTRONG based on its own actions, even as I believe it would be wise for LIVESTRONG to continue to grow the distance between itself and Armstrong.
Here’s my issue: I, along with many others in the breast cancer blogosphere, have called a number of cancer non-profits to task. Komen, NBCC and others have been reviewed critically. As they should be.
But it occurs to me that I’ve not heard much in that regard when it comes to LIVESTRONG, which begs the question: has LIVESTRONG been exempt from scrutiny because of their affiliation with an American hero?
I honestly don’t know, but I speculate that all the “feel good” around both the man and the organization may have clouded our vision. That’s not to say LIVESTRONG‘s reputation is unworthy, or that it is anything short of the wonderful organization it purports to be. Only that a close look is in order. If they are clear in their mission, true in their leadership and appropriate in their spending, I imagine a careful look would serve them well.