Local Doctor: Armstrong Scandal Shouldn’t Detract From His Fight Against Cancer
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CHICAGO (CBS) – The fallout from Lance Armstrong’s decision to step down from his Livestrong cancer awareness charity, and Nike’s decision to cut ties with the disgraced cyclist, have been felt all across the nation, including right here in Chicago.
CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports the international doping scandal has sent out ripples all across the globe.
Armstrong has resigned as chairman of Livestrong, and Nike and other sponsors have cut ties with Armstrong, one week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued a massive report, detailing mountains of evidence of performance-enhancing drug use by the seven-time Tour de France winner.
Dr. Patricia Mumby, a clinical psychiatrist with Loyola University Health System, said she sees lots of people every day who wear the signature yellow Livestrong bracelets.
Mumby deals with the mental war that cancer inflicts on its victims.
“I think it’s a sign of hope cancer can be survived,” she said of the Livestrong bracelet.
That hope means a lot to cancer victims.
“It hits on multiple levels,” Mumby said of the disease.
Armstrong, once the Pied Piper of piety, has now become a pariah.
Jon Ryder, manager of Kozy’s Cyclery, said, rather than seeing the battle between Armstrong and the USADA dragged on any further, “I’m kind of glad to be done with it.”
“I think a lot of people, they’re just like, ‘Yeah, he did it.’ He probably did,” Ryder said.
Armstrong only became the best cyclist in the sport’s history after defeating cancer.
The Livestrong organization he founded to raise cancer awareness will now have to accomplish its mission without him at the helm.
The gossip website Gawker has published a scathing editorial, calling on others to lose their Livestrong bracelets.
Mumby said, when it comes to cancer, Armstrong’s alleged doping “doesn’t take away from what he has done.”
“Whatever the situation with Lance is, we don’t want it to take away from the work that has been done by the organization, and the fact that he’s a cancer survivor,” she added. “And it shouldn’t take away from people’s sense of ‘I can survive, too.’”
The Livestong foundation has raised nearly $500 million for cancer awareness and programs for cancer survivors.
There’s a broad hope that it will continue to fight the good fight against cancer, even with Armstrong now gone.