SOURCE: Lance Armstrong Foundation

February 28, 2009 17:57 ET

LIVESTRONG™ Global Cancer Campaign Launches in Mexico

Lance Armstrong Meets With Mexican President Calderón, Announces Formation of Awareness and Action Campaign

MEXICO CITY--(Marketwire - February 28, 2009) - Today the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) launched its LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign in Mexico with a meeting between Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa; Dr. Alejandro Mohar Betancourt, General Director of the Mexican National Cancer Institute; Lance Armstrong, LAF founder and chairman, cancer survivor and champion cyclist; and Doug Ulman, LAF President/CEO and three-time cancer survivor. At a reception at Los Pinos, the presidential residence and offices, Armstrong thanked President Calderón for Mexico's leadership in Latin America on tobacco control and invited the President to make new commitments to fighting cancer before assembled guests.

Following the meeting where President Calderón pledged his support for the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign, he and Lance Armstrong addressed more than 400 children and members of the media. President Calderón said, "I hope all of us can be able to follow Lance in this leadership about the fight against cancer in the world. And I am sure that we can do it in order for the people to have access to a better life and to overcome this illness that until recently was considered deadly, fatal, unbeatable. We can do it."

"My home state of Texas and Mexico share many traditions and culture. Unfortunately, we also share a common burden in cancer," said Armstrong. "We invite President Calderón, NGOs and Mexican corporations to join us in our effort to reduce the burden and stigma of cancer in this country. By working together, we can win this fight."

Following the Los Pinos event, Armstrong traveled to Oaxaca City, where he will wave the starting flag at the Vuelta Mexico Telmex cycling race on Sunday. Members of the Trek-LIVESTRONG U23 development team will participate in the race.

In addition to meeting with Mexico's political leadership, the LAF will meet Monday with representatives from nearly 25 of the country's leading non-governmental organizations and academic institutions focused on the fight against cancer. At the round-table discussion, co-sponsored by the Mexican National Cancer Institute (INCan), participants are encouraged to provide feedback and create an agenda for Global Cancer Campaign efforts in Mexico. The LAF will also discuss its work to address the gaps in awareness and services for Latino cancer survivors through developing comprehensive resources, including its Spanish-language web site www.livestrong.org/espanol. The gathering is the first of an ongoing commitment from the LAF to the Mexican cancer community, which will include additional activities to be announced later this year.

LAF research indicates that silence and shame are often associated with cancer in Mexico, where there are about 150,000 new cancer cases diagnosed each year and 64,000 deaths. The LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign will work with the NGO community to address the stigma and silence in compelling ways that begin to reduce the burden of cancer by opening up the lines of communication between families, healthcare providers and cancer survivors.

The LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign is focused on supporting the 28 million people living with cancer worldwide, dispelling the misconceptions surrounding the disease and urging world leaders, leading cancer organizations and cancer survivors to join together in this effort. This summer, the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit will take place Aug. 24-26, 2009 in Dublin, Ireland. Its primary purpose is to bring together world leaders to secure commitments to make cancer a global priority. Its secondary purpose is to build a global grassroots advocacy movement to influence global action in the fight against cancer.

Following its success in Australia and California, and today's launch in Mexico, the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign will head 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 Dublin (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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