This post doesn’t necessarily pertain strictly to cancer, but more to life in general and I think it’s worth addressing. I’m not sure how much other people follow current events, but recently there have been a couple disturbing stories in the news. Firstly, Lance Armstrong recently admitted to doping when he was competing in the Tour de France. Before I go any further let me say that I think Lance Armstrong and his organization (Livestrong) have done an immense amount of good for cancer patients and survivors. Having said that, I am very disappointed in him and I don’t know if he will ever be able to rebuild his image. I remember reading his books while I was going through treatment and I found him to be a hero and an inspiration. His words gave me a great amount of motivation and hope. I also remember him addressing the people who had accused him of doping, in which he basically slandered the entire French cycling regime, claiming their doctors were dishonest and incompetent. When I read his perspective, I took his side unconditionally and defended him from those who accused him of cheating. To learn now that is was all a huge lie is very troubling and although I still think his survivorship story is admirable, I will never have the same respect for him that I once did.
Another story that has appeared numerous times is the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax fiasco. For those who don’t know, Manti Te’o is a star football player for the University of Notre Dame. For several months, he maintained what he thought was a legitimate relationship with a girl via phone and internet, only to find out several months later that she wasn’t real. The perpetrator faked the girl’s death midway through the football season, saying that she died of leukemia. Even so, Manti led his team to the National Championship game, and everyone thought it was an incredible story that he was able to play so well with such a heavy heart. In the end, though, it was just a sad story.
Examples like these show up all the time and so I guess the moral of the story is that things aren’t always as they seem and we must be thorough when interpreting what is fact and what is fiction.