Press Release from the LAF
Lance Armstrong encourages world leaders, cancer organizations and advocates to commit to making cancer a global priority
San Diego, CA – February 22, 2009 - The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) announced today that the premiere LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit will take place Aug. 24-26, 2009 in Dublin, Ireland immediately following LAF founder and chairman, cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong's participation in the Tour of Ireland, Aug. 19-23. As the landmark event of the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign, the Summit will make the case for acting urgently to address the global cancer burden and introduce new commitments to cancer control by bringing together world leaders, corporations, non-governmental organizations and advocates in an unprecedented show of solidarity. The announcement comes on the final day of the Amgen Tour of California, where Armstrong was competing in his second race in his return to professional cycling and against the worldwide threat of cancer.
"Unless we act on a global level, cancer will be the leading cause of death by 2010," said Armstrong. "Our goal is to be the catalyst that brings everyone together to fight cancer—from survivors, like me, to world leaders and policymakers who must commit completely to the effort to avoid a public health catastrophe. The Summit provides an invaluable opportunity to stand up for the 28 million cancer survivors worldwide and to create a unified effort to control cancer through new commitments to action."
In a separate announcement in Dublin, Ireland's Minister for Health, Mary Harney said Ireland was very pleased to welcome the Summit to Dublin in August. "Cancer Control is a top priority for the Irish Government. The themes of the Summit fit well with our new national Cancer Control Strategy and anti-tobacco initiatives we have taken, such as the ban on smoking in the workplace. We wish the Summit and the Lance Armstrong Foundation every success and we will be happy to welcome all international delegates to Ireland."
Irish Cancer Society CEO John McCormack said, "We still have a lot to do in the fight against cancer. By 2020, it is estimated there will be more than 40,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Ireland. We can and must act to reduce the rate of preventable cancer and this summit gives us the opportunity to increase cancer awareness and take actions which will save lives."
Darach McQuaid, Project Director for the Tour of Ireland, said, "The global sports icon that is Lance Armstrong last raced in Ireland in the Tour of Ireland in 1992. This August 19-23 the Tour of Ireland could not be more proud than to have Lance Armstrong riding once again on Irish roads in the lead up to his Global Cancer Summit in Dublin. The massive, positive public reaction to his comeback to the sport in Australia in January and California in February indicate that by the time Lance arrives in Ireland next August, the interest levels will be at fever pitch. I am confident that we can provide Lance with a challenging course and via our global broadcast, promote his cancer message in over 140 television markets around the world."
Already, world leaders are indicating their intent to send high-level representation and make commitments. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and former U.S. President Bill Clinton are included in the early list of leaders expressing support. The LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign made immediate progress when it launched in Australia this January with several new commitments to cancer control from the Australian government and NGOs. In addition, conversations are ongoing with the Kingdom of Jordan to announce a substantial new commitment in that country. These commitments and others will be featured at the Summit in Dublin.
"I hope a decade from now we can look back on this campaign and see that there truly is a global cancer movement – one that has adequately funded cancer research, cut the death rate to zero and maximized the amount of prevention and education and advocacy that can be done," said Clinton. "And that it has helped people to live with and overcome cancer with the support they need."
The primary purpose of the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit is to bring together world leaders to secure commitments to make cancer a global priority. The secondary purpose is to build a global grassroots advocacy movement to influence global action in the fight against cancer. Participation in the Summit is by invitation only. LAF has outlined a commitment process that all world leaders and representatives from non-governmental organizations and corporations are required to complete to be eligible for invitation. For information about the commitment process, visit www.LIVESTRONG.org.
Following its success in Australia and California, the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign will head to Mexico in late February and then on to Europe for the Giro d'Italia (May 9-31), the Tour de France (July 4-26), the Tour of Ireland (Aug. 19-23) and the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit in Ireland (Aug. 24-26), as well as other locations to be announced soon. For more information on the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign, please visit www.LIVESTRONGblog.org.
About the Lance Armstrong Foundation
At the Lance Armstrong Foundation, we fight for the 28 million people around the world living with cancer today. There can be – and should be – life after cancer for more people. That's why we kick in at the moment of diagnosis, giving people the resources and support they need to fight cancer head-on. We find innovative ways to raise awareness, fund research and end the stigma about cancer that many survivors face. We connect people and communities to drive social change, and we call for state, national and world leaders to help fight this disease. Anyone anywhere can join our fight against cancer. Join us at www.LIVESTRONG.org.
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