One phrase is worth 115 million dollarsworth
"Don't give up...don't EVER give up!" The late Jim Valvano quoted that phrase in 1993. That phrase is worth more than a thousand words-- it is worth 115 million dollars, and counting. Valvano used his speech at the inaugural ESPY Awards to rally support for cancer research, which at the time he felt was not getting enough attention.
Thanks to Valvano, and other events such as the Relay for Life series, fighting cancer has become a highlighted cause. The V Foundaton for Cancer Research has raised 115 million dollars, with more large amounts expected in coming years and decades. We lost Jimmy V a month after his inspiring speech as part of his winning the original Arthur Ashe Award for courage-- and eleven months before he promised to return to give the Arthur Ashe award at the next ESPY Awards. It was a promise he tried to keep, but his battered body wouldn't let him complete.
Indirectly, Jimmy V has a tie to this area as well. As a favor to an old friend in Long Island, New York, Valvano took on a 6-8 project player in the mid-80's at North Carolina State. That project went on to a great college career, and a long and successful NBA career. His name was Tom Gugliotta; his brother, Frank Gugliotta, moved from Long Island to Bicknell, where he remains to this day. All three of Gugliotts's children-- Chelsea, Richard, and currently Maria-- have played basketball at North Knox High School, with Chelsea being named to the Indiana HIgh School All-Star team.
ESPN is doing its annual package giveaway today, to benefit the V Foundation. If you don't have an extra 8,000 dollars or so laying around the win the packages, you can donate 5 or 10 dollars to the V Foundation. Both gifts are welcomed equally. Anyone wishing to give to the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research are encouaged to call 1-800-4-JIMMY V.
Don't give up...don't EVER give up. One phrase is worth 115-million dollars, and counting. Thanks Jim Valvano-- and thanks to all of those who give-- in ANY platform-- to help in the battle against cancer.
That's my take.... I'm Tom Lee.