About this sponsorship: In honor of the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s historic ascent of Mount Everest, Patch and Grape-Nuts are teaming up to highlight those who inspire people around them to climb their own mountains.
Facing the Challenge
A single cancer diagnosis doesn't just affect the person with the disease, a fact that Livestrong Foundation CEO and President Doug Ulman knows all too well.
Ulman is a three-time cancer survivor and globally recognized cancer advocate. After overcoming chondrosarcoma during his sophomore year of college, Ulman and his family founded the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting young adults and their families and friends affected by cancer. Ulman has beat malignant melanoma twice since that first bout with cancer.
Ulman served as executive director of UCF for four years before joining Livestrong in 2001 and becoming its CEO and president in 2011.
His focus remains largely the same -- being a resource for people affected by cancer.
"The LIVESTRONG Foundation is focused on advancing its mission to improve the lives of people affected by cancer today," Ulman said. "For those facing a cancer diagnosis now, they need help navigating their cancer journey. And we can help."
Finding the Inspiration
Now at the helm of Livestrong, Ulman says the foundation's ultimate goal is to help people facing cancer improve their outcomes and "live long healthy lives to the fullest degree."
"Fourteen million Americans are living with cancer today," Ulman said. "They don’t have time to wait for a cure. They need help now."
Livestrong can provide free tools and resources to run a range of issues, Ulman pointed out, including handling financial burdens, insurance claims, options to preserve their fertility, matching to clinical trials and treatment, emotional support and even transportation to cancer-related medical appointments.
Reaching the Goal
There isn't just one goal for Livestrong because the organization's leaders evaluates their success based on patients and survivors served every day, Ulman said.
"In our 16-year history, we have served more than 2.5 million people," Ulman continued. "But we want to expand our reach...We arecommitted to helping cancer patients and survivors fight on their terms and to creating a world wherecancer support, care and treatment are easily accessible."
Livestrong will be aggressively looking for ways to "fill in the gaps" based on information received from survivors, he added, to expand and adapt programs. Over the next several years, that expanision will include advocating for patient-centered care, federal and state funding for survivorship programs, global access and advances in health information technology.
"We at the Livestrong Foundation will always be listening to and communicating with survivors," Ulman said. "We have a lot of work to do. And we cannot do it alone. Fighting cancer requires collective action from everyone."
Read more: For more information if you or a loved one are affected by cancer, call (855) 220-7777 or log on to www.livestrong.org/GetHelp