September 14, 2011 12:01 ET

LIVESTRONG® to Represent Cancer Survivors at United Nations and Call for Action Against Non-Communicable Disease Epidemic

Cancer Survivor and Advocate Lance Armstrong Will Speak at the UN on Sept. 20

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 14, 2011) - LIVESTRONG® will join global leaders Sept. 19-20 in New York to address an urgent and growing global health challenge -- non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including cancer, diabetes and heart disease at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases.

"LIVESTRONG salutes the United Nations for gathering its members to focus on a very critical health and economic issue," said Lance Armstrong, LIVESTRONG founder and chairman, cancer survivor and champion cyclist. "Cancer and other non-communicable diseases have become an epidemic, costing us millions of lives and incurring immeasurable financial damage. We know that cancer and chronic disease care is achievable in even the most remote and modest health settings. There is much progress to be made in saving lives. But we must treat people, not diseases, and build health systems that serve all the medical needs of a community."

Armstrong will speak at the United Nations on Tues., Sept. 20 as part of a round table on fostering international cooperation and coordination to address NCDs. The round table is chaired by Rt. Hon. Denzil L. Douglas, Prime Minister, St. Kitts & Nevis, and H.E. Dr. Waller Gwengale, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Liberia. Armstrong will be joined by fellow civil society representatives Mr. Borge Brende, World Economic Forum; Ms. Indrani Thuraisingham, Consumers International; Dr. Srinath Reddy, World Heart Federation; and Sir George Alleyne, PAHO. UN Representatives include the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Cancer and other pervasive diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory disease claim the lives of 36 million people around the world each year. These non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for more deaths than from any other cause. Contrary to prevailing assumption, NCDs significantly impact populations in low- and middle-income countries, where about 80 percent of NCD deaths occur.

Cancer alone kills more people than tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria combined. More than half of new cancer cases and almost two-thirds of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. By 2030, experts predict that 70 percent of the global cancer burden will be shouldered by the people and economies of the developing world. According to the World Health Organization, the disease will also claim 17 million lives every year by 2030.

In conjunction with the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly, LIVESTRONG is involved in a variety of events to raise awareness about cancer and make cancer a global priority.

On Sept. 19, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Dr. Thomas Farley, Commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, are hosting special guests Armstrong and Their Royal Highnesses of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Princess Ghida Talal and Princess Dina Mired, at an event for the global health community at Gracie Mansion. LIVESTRONG is premiering the short film, Delivering Hope: Cancer Care in the Developing World, produced by Alpheus Media, that poignantly captures the personal stories of cancer survivors from Rwanda and Jordan and reveals that even in areas of varying resources, delivering quality cancer care is possible.

Columbia University's World Leaders Forum will feature a session called Delivering Hope: Preventing and Treating Non-communicable Disease in Developing Countries. Armstrong will join Wafaa El-Sadr, M.D., MPH, MPA, Director of the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs; Paul Farmer, M.D., PhD, co-founder of Partners in Health; and Lawrence N. Shulman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for a discussion about the growing epidemic of NCDs in developing countries and the practical, cost-effective solutions that can be used now to prevent and treat NCDs. Sanjay Gupta, M.D., Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN, will moderate the discussion and Linda P. Fried, M.D., MPH, Dean of the Mailman School of Public Health will introduce the topic and panelists. The event will take place on Mon., Sept. 19, at Columbia's Low Memorial Library before an audience of students.

On Tues., Sept. 20, Armstrong and Doug Ulman, LIVESTRONG president and CEO and three-time cancer survivor, will address the 2nd Annual Social Good Summit, presented by Mashable, the United Nations Foundation and the 92nd Street Y. At their session, The Original Social Network - LIVESTRONG Wristbands and Global Good, they will discuss the evolution of the WEARYELLOW LIVESTRONG wristband campaign that launched with Nike in 2004 to today's world of Tweets, hashtags and Facebook friends. Through the wristband, LIVESTRONG connected a network of more than 80 million people on every continent in the global fight against cancer, including advocates in low-income countries and in the most remote places -- where cancer has become a leading global health and development challenge. They will talk about the global cancer burden, mobilizing a worldwide grassroots army and holding world leaders accountable to ensure a healthier future for all.

To illustrate the achievability of cancer care in modest and remote health settings, LIVESTRONG published Delivering Hope: Cancer Care in the Developing World, a special report authored by Dr. Lawrence Shulman. In it, Dr. Shulman recommends practical, effective and affordable strategies to address cancer prevention and treatment needs for countries at all stages of economic development. The report includes case studies from Rwanda and Jordan and describes how existing health systems designed to treat infectious diseases in low-income countries can be strengthened to address the urgent and growing cancer needs of developing world populations.

LIVESTRONG has also launched a social media campaign called FACE UP TO IT to ask world leaders to act against the global cancer and NCD crisis. Anyone affected by cancer is invited to join by adding their photo to a global mosaic through a simple Facebook application. LIVESTRONG plans to create a call-to-action film representing survivors and participants that will be displayed in New York's Times Square and posted to world leaders' web pages and Twitter feeds. The mosaic of FACE UP TO IT advocates will be featured in the New York Times and on cycle billboards around the United Nations as well.

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. Originating with the 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

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