'Don't Give Up, Don't Ever Give Up'
As an avid college basketball fan and a person who has seen people close to me battle cancer, this time of year always carries special weight. Not only is the holiday season underway, but yesterday marked the beginning of the Jimmy V Week, the annual fundraiser by The V Foundation for cancer research.
I'm sure many (or most) of you are aware of the V Foundation's story. Former college basketball coach Jim Valvano, who won a national championship at N.C. State, was diagnosed with cancer — Metastatic Adenocarcinoma — in 1992 and given only a year to live. Determined to fight the disease, the man who was arguably the most well-liked coach in the history of sports gave a rousing speech on March 3, 1993, when he received the Arthur Ashe Award at the ESPYs. During his epic speech, he announced the establishment of the V Foundation set up with support of ESPN to try and find a cure for cancer.
ESPN promotes Jimmy V Week each December, celebrating the life and work of Valvano to help garner support for cancer research. It began yesterday and runs through Dec. 7.
It's incredible to see just how far the medical world has come in treating all types of cancer, and it's all due to the great work of fundraisers like you. Just the other day, a couple in Ohio donated $42 million to a cancer center. And every time I hear of such generosity, I think about Jimmy V's speech, specifically his enduring words, "Don't give up; don't ever give up."
No matter if your organization is dedicated to fighting cancer, providing food for the poor or saving wildlife, Valvano's words should be an inspiration. Fundraising can be hard. It can be tiring. It can seem daunting. But it's important. Raising money and support and supplies for your cause, whatever it may be, is vital. It's needed to make the world a better place. So in this holiday season, in the face of tough economic circumstances and dwindling budgets, as an uncertain future stares us all in the face, remember Jimmy V's words. Don't give up. Don't ever give up.