Who is Lance Armstrong? Seven time Tour De France Champion that's who. He is cycling's equivalent to Dale Earnhardt - the intimidator on two wheels. He survived testicular cancer that spread to his brain causing lesions. His expectancy to live was low, but his drive and determination not to lose helped him in his fight to victory over this horrid disease. After surviving, he started his own foundation called Livestrong to help those people and their families who are affected by cancer, and to help raise money for cancer research. So what does this have to do with NASCAR? Let me tell you.
In a recent article in Sports Illustrated, it tells of a determined Lance asking the President for 1billion dollars for research in finding a cure for cancer. Lance wants to unite all of the various research groups under one roof - so to speak- so there is no repetition of research and he is confident that with 1 billion dollars he can find a cure sooner than later. The President could not make that promise of cash, but was able to get a few million dollars more than in the previous year's budget. So where can some of the money needed come from? It can come from NASCAR fans via NASCAR.
If NASCAR averages 150,000 fans per race and there are 36 races each season that means there are about 5.4 million fans attending races each year. If NASCAR donates $1.00 from each ticket sold that would raise about 5.4 million dollars for Lance Armstrong and his quest to find a cure for cancer. I'm also sure that if NASCAR took the initiative that they would be able to raise double, even triple that amount through supporting events during racing weekends (i.e. driver autograph sessions where each signature costs a $1.00 which goes to cancer research, $1.00 from each Busch and Craftsman Truck race ticket sold, benefit concerts, etc.).
I know, 5.4 million dollars, or even 10 or 15 million dollars, does not even come close to 1 billion dollars, but it makes it a little more close than further away. If NASCAR takes this lead certainly other sporting leagues would follow (i.e. NFL, NBA, MLB, etc.). If everyone just said we've had enough of this sickening disease and we need to find a cure now the 1 billion dollars would be raised a lot faster. Look at the eyes in the picture of Lance with this post, he gets the same look when he talks about beating cancer, how can you doubt his drive to find a cure, and find it soon?
I've got my yellow Livestrong wrist band and am willing to pay $1.00 more for my race tickets, how about you?
Update: I just linked this post to another one of mine on Nov. 27 and with it I add this interesting news: Canada has taken Lance's "under one roof" theory to heart as outlined in this latest news article.
In short, here is the main point of the article.
"Prime Minister Harper's statement at McGill University, Montreal, alongside Federal Health Minister Tony Clement, delivers on his government's promise to fund the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control with 260 million dollars ear-marked for the purpose in this year's federal budget. The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer will perform the role of a "clearing house" in the efficient collection and dissemination of state of the art information to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer, ensuring that the most current and relevant knowledge is available to health care and Cancer care givers, anywhere in Canada. The partnership will also receive funding for its research projects from Health Canada. The organization will work with minimal interference from the Federal Government."