Sep. 27, 2008

Paul Newman & Team Hole in the Wall

Actor, director, activist and race car driver Paul Newman died yesterday after battling cancer. He was 83. I really loved Paul Newman as an actor. I mean it's a rare thing for me to pretty much like every movie of an actor, but that was the case with Paul Newman, probably because he had a large repertoire of characters he portrayed: from the heartthrob to rebels to losers. Just think about his movie career: 10 Oscar nominations, 3 Academy Awards, more than 50 major roles, the list goes on and on.

He was different from so many people in the industry. He had one of those rare long-term marriages with Joanne Woodward, and once told Playboy magazine: "I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?" when being asked about any temptations to cheat on his wife.

But most of all he had a heart for underdogs, people who are challenged by life.

His food company Newman's Own donates all profits and royalties after taxes for educational and charitable purposes (with over $250 million dollars given to charities worldwide). "Shameless exploitation in pursuit of the Common Good" is a motto more companies should follow.

Over 20 years ago, he founded the "Hole in the Wall" camps, the leading global family of camps for children with life-threatening illnesses.

I have to admit I've never heard of those camps before my friend Michael wrote about his cycling adventure. He spent a week at camp as a volunteer counselor this summer and only had great memories to share. Those children really impressed me (and I wasn't even there).

Right now, Michael is on a 3392 mile (!!!!) bike ride across the sounthern part of the US (from Disneyland to Walt Disney World). I'm pretty amazed whenever I watch the Tour de France and their 3 week race across France, but those are professional cyclists- and they have 2-3 days of rest during those 3 weeks. Now Michael and the other riders accomplish an average 106 miles a day... without any off-days to rest. Now, that's impressive!

But what's even more impressive is that he's not doing this for himself (although it's been a big dream of his and he seems to enjoy it immensely), he's doing the ride to support his mother-in-law's continuous fight against cancer and to raise money for the "TEAM HOLE IN THE WALL".

Michael's goal is to raise enough money so that 10 children will be able to go to summer camp free of charge and "be able to experience the absolute magic [he] has seen for himself [...] It is amazing what these campers accomplish in one week; just as amazing are the obstacles they overcome on a daily basis, for these children suffer from serious illnesses such as cancer, sickle cell anemia, HIV/AIDS, and hemophilia. Camp helps keep them going – throughout the many challenges of serious illness. "

I know I pretty much begged people to donate to the LAF through my fundraising account during the last few weeks, but if there's even a small amount of money you have left to give to an inspiring and important cause, please consider donating to the "Hole in the Wall" Camps (just click here and you'll be redirected to the fundraising page).

If you need any extra motivation or incentive, please take a moment to watch this video and/or read Michael's blog (it's worth your time, I promise- lots of inspiring stories from the road, beautiful pictures, and a guy who has a heart of gold).

Let's remember Paul Newman's legacy and follow his and Michael's example. I know some people get sick of hearing it, but I'll say it again: Children are our future and laughter really is the best medicine out there!

Sep. 25, 2008

Stunned Amazed Perplexed...

... thank you, thank you, thank you (to be continued a million times, at least ;-)

Don't know how I got lucky enough to have some people believe in me that much, but I'm very grateful! The last week has been a rollercoaster ride (with a lot of bad press regarding Lance's comeback in large parts of Europe, including my home country of Germany, I'm afraid; but also the wonderful mail I received from a mentor friend, a beautiful post about my fundraising efforts by my honorary soul sister, and now this...), it really proves that some people do believe in team work!

I know I'll be following my dream and working even harder to make cancer a global priority, no matter what some people may say, write or post! Sometimes, being stubborn really comes in handy ;-)

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of leave the world a better place...
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sep. 24, 2008

Sign the World Cancer Declaration!


"The World Cancer Declaration 2008 was developed by the International Union against Cancer (UICC), adopted by the World Cancer Summit 2008 and endorsed by the World Cancer Congress 2008.

We the global cancer community call on governments, international governmental organizations, the international donor community, development agencies, professional organizations, the private sector and all civil society to take immediate steps to slow and ultimately reverse the growth in deaths from cancer."

This is something we all can do... all around the world. Click here to sign the World Cancer Declaration today!

Watch CBS Videos Online

Sep. 22, 2008

A monumental challenge

I don't believe in violence or war, but I do believe in the global war against cancer.
Cancer is a global enemy.
We lose 2 Europeans and 1 American to cancer every single minute.


This is a monumental challenge and the results will affect each of us.
On October 25th, I will do a 5k run in downtown Austin.
On October 26th, I will do a 45 mile cycling ride around Dripping Springs.
I have a shirt and a jersey to wear.

What's missing is the names of cancer survivors/warriors/angels/caregivers to do this ride and walk in honor/in support/in honor of. What's missing is the names of the people that are the reasons we're all participating in this challenge.

So, if you make a donation to my LAF fundraising account and send me the name of someone you'd like me to walk or ride for, I'll wear a card during the challenge and mail that card to you afterwards. No donation is too small- every donation will make a difference and will help to save lives. Just give as much as you can!

We're often told that a single person can't make that much of a difference.
It might be your donation and your $$$ that will get us a major breakthrough in the fight against cancer.

Don't think about donating later- do it now! Make a difference now! Donate now!
'Cause what are we waiting for?

For those of you who can't make a donation but would like me to run or ride for a loved one, please contact me and I'll include you and/or your loved ones during the event and will e-mail you the card later on.

This is the global fight against cancer- this is the war against cancer I support from the bottom of my heart and the surface of my skin. Will you join me?

Contact me: LSArmyEurope[at]

Sep. 10, 2008

Inspirational corner

My little inspirational/ motivational corner where most of my "getting back in shape"-training takes place at the moment:

Sep. 9, 2008

new developments...

... Team Astana denied the news of Lance joining the team for the 2009 season today.

Astana team press officer Philippe Maertens told the Associated Press: "He is not part of our team. Team Astana has no plans with him."

However, this seems to be old news just a few hours later:

"I am happy to announce that after talking with my children, my family and my closest friends, I have decided to return to professional cycling in order to raise awareness of the global cancer burden," the 36-year-old Armstrong said in a statement released to The Associated Press. "This year alone, nearly eight million people will die of cancer worldwide. ... It's now time to address cancer on a global level."

This seems to be sending out mixed signals to the people who were trying to get a group organized in Europe to support the LIVESTRONG Army. I guess it means raising awareness on a different level, promoting the brand, etc.

It will be interesting to see how the Tour de France organizers, who banned Team Astana from the TdF last year because of doping allegations (not proof), will react to this new developent.

Sep. 8, 2008

New trend: Retiring from retirement?

Will we actually see another sports star retiring from retirement? First, it was Brett Favre in a rather ungraceful step out of early retirement and into another green uniform (Go Pack! Go Aaron!)... and now this:

Armstrong to come out of retirement and ride for Astana

Just another rumor? A way to get pro-cycling out of a huge crisis? Who knows but it'll be interesting to see how this'll develop!

Sep. 5, 2008

Stand Up to Cancer

We're spending millions and millions of dollars/euros/pounds
inventing new things to kill one another-
we need to get our priorities straight.
If we do, we can beat this!

Together, we can be the starting point to end cancer-
it doesn't take much
but we need to start acting now,
because "one day is always one day late".

Please take a moment to look at the survivors in the Errol Morris video. The extended version can also be downloaded for free on itunes.