Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up

Think about everybody you know: your friends, your family, your coworkers, and your peers. On average, one of every two men you know and one of every three women will be affected by cancer sometime in their life. What is even more shocking is the fact that more than 500,000 Americans will die of cancer this year. There are many organizations dedicated to fighting this terrible disease, but one still stands out in the world of sports.

Coach Jim Valvano founded the V Foundation for Cancer Research in 1993.

This week, ESPN is sponsoring its sixth annual Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research to benefit the V Foundation. Founded in 1993, the V Foundation was named in honor of its creator, former NC State men’s basketball coach Jim Valvano. In 1992, Jimmy V, as he was affectionately known, was diagnosed with bone cancer, which quickly spread to the rest of his body. During the 1993 ESPY Awards, Coach Valvano won the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award, and announced the formation of the V Foundation for Cancer Research in one of the most memorable speeches in sports history.

Coach Valvano encouraged people to support his cause for the benefit of future generations. “It may not save my life. It may save my children’s lives. It may save someone you love,” Valvano said. Coach Valvano passed away from the disease on April 28, 1993, less than two months after delivering his famous speech. Said ESPN analyst and close friend Dick Vitale, I was stunned watching him, with the crowd in the palm of his hand as he poured his heart out about battling cancer. There are memories galore.”

Now in its 20th year, the V Foundation continues to raise money to fight cancer. 100% of all donations to the V Foundation directly fund cancer research and related programs. The Foundation has also awarded more than 100 grants to research organizations in the United States. Since 1993, the V Foundation had raised more than $120 million to fight cancer.

ESPN, the founding sponsor of the V Foundation, is airing programs in support of Coach Valvano’s mission. The V Foundation is sponsoring both the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and the SEC-Big East Challenge, as well as Monday Night Football on December 3rd. Finally, ESPN and the V Foundation will present the Jimmy V’s Women’s and Men’s Basketball Classics next week, featuring Maryland and Connecticut on the women’s side on Monday. This year’s men’s double header on Tuesday night features Texas-Georgetown and NC State-Connecticut from Madison Square Garden.

The V Foundation is a fantastic organization that will not stop raising awareness and money for cancer research until a cure is found. Especially during the giving holiday season, consider a donation to the V Foundation. Cancer might be a tough disease to battle, but Coach Valvano game us some simple advice. “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”

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