Welcome Letter
What is the Cycle of Hope?

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Dear Friends,

Cancer is a disease that touches us all. More than one million Americans are diagnosed with cancer every year, making the odds of cancer striking close to home pretty likely. No doubt you, a family member or someone you know has been affected by cancer. I'm proof that everyone is at risk for cancer.

I was a 25 year-old competitive bicyclist in prime condition when I was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer. I had been denying my symptoms for several months, blaming my soreness and fatigue on my tough training. By the time I was diagnosed, my cancer had spread to my lungs and brain, leaving me with a very grim prognosis. The initial shock of this news paralyzed me with fear, but not for long. I soon took charge of my disease treatment the same way I would tackle a difficult racecourse. I moved forward with brain surgery to remove two tumors, and an aggressive course of chemotherapy, and regained control to defeat my cancer. I returned to the sport I love, and two years later I won the 1999 Tour de France international bicycle race.

As an athlete, I must know my competition. It's the same with cancer. Knowing and recognizing the warning signs and obtaining prompt medical attention can save your life. Learning about your disease can help you manage, and live with your illness. Building a relationship with your treatment team can make you a player instead of a spectator.

I am no expert on cancer. I can't tell you everything you need to know about your illness. I can, however, share with you the strategy that worked for me in a language I know - cycling - that is why I call this campaign the Cycle of Hope. The information in this kit helped me regain control of my body and turn my fears into hope. You don't have to be young or an athlete to understand what it takes to help you battle cancer and live with hope.

I attribute much of my success in beating cancer to educating myself on my disease, and finding the right doctors and chemotherapy regimen for me. My treatment included three drugs made by Bristol-Myers Squibb -- the world's leader in cancer research and development.

In 1996, in order to help others, I established the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which is dedicated to helping people manage and survive cancer. The Foundation funds scientific research leading to better ways to detect and, eventually, cure cancer. The Foundation and I have teamed up with Bristol-Myers Squibb to educate people on the importance of early cancer detection, the proper treatment, and hope - always hope - no matter what the circumstances.

The materials found on this Web site are the fruits of that partnership. I hope you and your family members find them helpful. Regardless of where you are in the cycle of survivorship, this information will help you turn your fears into hope, making your race easier at every turn. When I say survivorship, I mean living a comfortable and meaningful life regardless of your diagnosis. As stated in the charter for the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the moment you are diagnosed with cancer and for the rest of your life, you are a cancer survivor.

Cancer was not only the toughest opponent I've ever faced, it has also been the best and most rewarding race I've ever won. Good luck to each one of you.