Every year, ESPN has one day during which they promote the fight against cancer. They do so by promoting their Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research.
Jimmy Valvano was the head coach of the North Carolina State University basketball team. He is remembered for leading his team to victory in the 1983 NCAA Basketball Championship Game.
But, he was more than that.
While accepting the inaugural Arthur Ashe award for courage at the ESPY’s (ESPN’s annual award show) on March 3, 1993, he gave an inspiring speech for those fighting cancer. At the time, he knew what he was up against. But, that night, he and ESPN created the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research.
He lost his battle on April 28, 1993 – not even two months after his speech.
Although many years have passed, Jimmy V’s speech is still remembered by ESPN and the network’s many fans. It is a reminder of The Jimmy V Foundation’s motto – “Don’t give up…Don’t ever give up!”
On a side note, I know people who have dealt with cancer. Some didn’t make it, but some did. I am thankful for the ones that made it, and I remember fondly the ones that didn’t.
So, even if you don’t have money to give to the foundation, it’s important to help any way you can. But, even more so, it’s important to remember that foundations like The Jimmy V Foundation have helped researchers come closer to beating cancer.
One last note…
On ESPN2’s show, “Mike and Mike”, this morning, Mike Greenberg stated that the survival rate for cancer was 50% at the time of Jimmy V’s death. Today, it’s 90%.
Think about that.