Today, LIVESTRONG® announced a $1.75 million investment to improve the lives of people affected by cancer in Kansas City. LIVESTRONG has also enlisted Sporting Kansas City star Omar Bravo as a LIVESTRONG Global Envoy to help the foundation spread its message of awareness and survivorship to the Hispanic/Latino community in the U.S. and Mexico. The announcement was made at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, the first athletic venue in the world to champion the cancer cause that opens to great fanfare on Thursday, June 9.
“LIVESTRONG has high hopes for this stadium and the power it can wield in breaking down the stigma that surrounds cancer,” said Doug Ulman, LIVESTRONG president and CEO. “Every ticket purchased will help to connect cancer survivors here in Kansas City and around the world to proven cancer support programs that will improve their quality of life – a priceless contribution that will continue long after the game is over.”
Through its partnership with Sporting Club, LIVESTRONG is planning a comprehensive approach to deepen its engagement with Kansas City by providing inspiration and empowerment to area residents and investing in bold and innovative cancer support programs in the region. Over the course of its five-year agreement, LIVESTRONG will collaborate with organizations, institutions, schools and healthcare professionals to:
• increase access to programs aimed at improving the quality of life for those affected by cancer
• deploy navigation resources to ensure the best possible experience for all people with cancer with an emphasis on underserved populations
• educate and empower school professionals to help students impacted by cancer
• actively engage The University of Kansas Cancer Center and the Midwest Cancer Alliance to establish survivorship programs throughout the region
• evaluate the needs and experiences of local cancer survivors through the LIVESTRONG Survey to identify future investment opportunities and drive policy
• create a LIVESTRONG Kansas City Endowment in the amount of $100,000 a year to generate additional revenue that would be used for future investments in Kansas City cancer support programs
Several Kansas City organizations will benefit immediately from LIVESTRONG’s investment including Cancer Action (Overland Park, Kansas), The University of Kansas Cancer Center – Midwest Cancer Alliance (Kansas City, Kansas) and the YMCA of Greater Kansas City.
This week, LIVESTRONG is announcing the finalists of its national Community Impact Project who receive a financial award to help replicate and implement proven cancer support programs in their communities. Two organizations in the Kansas City region – Cancer Action and The University of Kansas Cancer Center, Midwest Cancer Alliance – have been selected to receive Cancer Transitions, a program designed to support, educate and empower people with cancer in the transitional period after treatment is over. The program incorporates support groups, education, nutrition and physical exercise, as well as addressing other medical management, psychosocial and quality of life issues. The program also provides survivors with practical tools and resources to formulate a personal action plan for survivorship beyond their participation in Cancer Transitions.
As part of its investment in Kansas City, the YMCA of Greater Kansas City is receiving funding to offer LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, a physical activity and well-being program designed to help adult cancer survivors achieve their holistic health goals. Participants work with Y staff trained in supportive cancer care to safely achieve their goals such as building muscle mass and strength; increasing flexibility and endurance; and improving confidence and self-esteem. By focusing on the whole person and not the disease, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA helps people move beyond cancer in spirit, mind and body.
In recent years, LIVESTRONG has been expanding its outreach to the Hispanic/Latino community where cancer is the second leading cause of death and cancer rates are projected to increase 142 percent by 2030. The stigma of cancer is especially serious among Hispanic males, so the addition of Bravo, a native of Mexico, comes at a critical juncture as LIVESTRONG is currently launching a campaign in Mexico to break the stigma and silence that surrounds the disease.
Bravo joined Sporting Kansas City for the 2011 season and is one of the most decorated and beloved players in Chivas Guadalajara history. Bravo is a proven goal-scorer who has netted more than 150 goals in more than 450 top-flight matches for club and country. He is a veteran athlete who has played in both the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
“As a LIVESTRONG Global Envoy, I look forward to lending my voice to help LIVESTRONG spread cancer awareness and survivorship support to Hispanic/Latino communities in the U.S. and in my native country of Mexico,” said Bravo. “I admire LIVESTRONG’s efforts to expand their outreach to Hispanic/Latino communities, where the burden of cancer is growing at an alarming rate, and connect people to the resources they need to fight cancer.”
As a LIVESTRONG Global Envoy, Bravo serves as a committed cancer advocate who connects with constituents and demonstrates extraordinary leadership in the global fight against cancer. Bravo gives a voice to the diagnosed who suffer in silence. He takes a stand against cultural stigma attached to cancer and helps to spur grassroots mobilization. Bravo joins a distinguished ensemble of cancer crusaders who have been invited to participate in the LIVESTRONG Global Envoy program. His fellow Envoy's include: Lillian Dube, Ryan Dungey, Carly Fiorina, Evan Handler, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dhani Jones, Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired, Lorena Rojas, Eric Shanteau, Graham Tatters, Kenechi Udeze and Ethan Zohn.
Fans can catch Bravo in the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park opening game between Sporting KC and Chicago Fire on Thursday, June 9. Single game tickets are still available at SportingKC.com or (888) 4KC-GOAL or people can tune in to ESPN/ESPN 2 at 9pm CST.
About LIVESTRONG/Lance Armstrong Foundation
LIVESTRONG serves people affected by cancer and empowers them to take action against the world's leading cause of death. Created as the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the organization is now known publicly by its powerful brand -- LIVESTRONG -- and is a leader in the global movement on behalf of 28 million people around the world living with cancer today. Known for its iconic yellow wristband, LIVESTRONG has become a symbol of hope and inspiration to people affected by cancer around the world. Since its inception, the organization has raised more than $400 million for the fight against cancer. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.