A former nurse shares more than a love of staying fit with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. Mary Eggers, a QTC Systems coach, challenged Armstrong to a 50-yard kick off via Twitter with all the proceeds going to fight cancer.
“It’s ripped through my life more times than I want to count on a personal and professional level. I spent many years as a pediatric nurse and I have watched too many children die. I am tired of this disease,” Eggers said of cancer. “I am close to many [cancer] survivors. I have watched their brave fight on a personal level. This is for them.”
Armstrong is also no stranger to cancer. At 25, he was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer. Despite the disease spreading to his lungs and brain, the cyclist beat it and made it his mission to raise money for a cure. Eggers, also passionate about putting an end to this disease that affects so many, has spent a great deal of time raising both money and awareness, is currently working with NY-based Teens Living With Cancer. She serves as the organization’s coach for their TLC Fit program, a fitness program we developed specifically for teens with cancer.
Cancer knows no boundaries. There are a lot of famous athletes and celebrities who have been touched by the disease. So, why Armstrong?
“Lance is the greatest athlete in history. He's fought cancer and won. He's the leader of the biggest army against cancer that there is. He is coming to Buffalo. I chose him because he's the one you go to to fight cancer,” Eggers said.
Eggers and a fellow QTC coach recently duked it out in the pool during a training camp. But, this time, she decided to take a chance and ask Armstrong, a guest speaker at the Distinguished Speaker Series, to accept the challenge. Thanks to her large Twitter following and the power of social media, Armstrong not only accepted, but he upped the ante from $1,000 to $100,000, tweeting, “Wow, @MaryEggers has quite the following. I guess I better start working on my kicking.”
Officials at TLWC are grateful both that Eggers issued the challenge and that Armstrong accepted it.
“Who would challenge one of the world’s most recognized athletes to something as crazy as a kickboard race? Only Mary Eggers! There are two amazing pieces to this story. First, Mary’s primary reason for issuing the challenge was to heighten awareness of the very unique challenges facing teens with cancer. Unlike some who might see an opportunity for self-promotion and publicity, Mary will be kicking with all her might to help our teens. She’s one of our greatest advocates. The second amazing thing is that Lance agreed to the challenge. He could have ignored Mary’s tweet, given his speech at UB, and gone merrily on his way. Instead, he chose to use his influence to help a small organization whose mission is closely aligned with his own. We are very grateful,” said Lauren Spiker, Executive Director.
“It seemed like the only way to get in touch with him,” Eggers said of choice to use the social media outlet to reach her wanted competitor.
The Duel In The Pool will take place on April 28 at the University of Buffalo and will benefit both TLWC and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
For more details: http://bit.ly/GIpwxg