LAF officials chose Anchorage’s Rachelle Alger to attend One Voice Against Cancer in Washington, D.C., July 5-11. The event is a collaboration of many non-profits, which will urge lawmakers to increase funding to fight cancer.
"I’m hoping to take some stories to D.C. and truly do the Alaskans who've shared them with me and get them some justice," Alger says.
Alger originally discovered the foundation as she searched the Internet trying to help cure her best friend’s skin cancer, but Carrie Forrest would not survive. Just a short time before Forrest’s death, cancer had already taken Alger’s cousin and best friend Sheri Stear’s life.
“It left me feeling very helpless,” Alger says.
Through the years, Alger has attempted to counteract the helpless feeling cancer can create by receiving Armstrong Foundation training, participating in LAF athletic events, and hosting Alaskan fundraisers.
"I have raised nearly $65,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. And now I would like to take it a step further," she says.
Hoping to take more of those steps at One Voice Against Cancer, Alger anticipates conveying to national lawmakers the importance of Alaska programs like Mind Matters Research, which helps cancer patients deal with the memory-related side effects that come with cancer drugs.
Alger also wants Alaskan cancer patients and caregivers to know the the Lance Armstrong Foundation is a support network waiting to step in on the day of a diagnosis.
"I want them to understand they can pick up the phone and call. They can get on the Internet. And they can get a very quick and easy answer to the things that are concerning them."
Those are concerns Alger understands all too well. She now hopes to ease ease the pain of others by spreading the word.
"I still think of Carrie and Sheri and all those fighting the disease,” Alger says. “Full circle won't be until it's gone."
For a list of the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s resources, click here.
To become an Alaska LAF volunteer, click here.
To watch the Lance Armstrong Foundation Manifesto, click here.