May 2nd, 2006
Tour Watch 2005 turned out to be a critical part of Spencer’s fundraising success, along with a raffle at my favorite coffee shop, the “It’s a Grind” at 620 and Anderson Mill in Austin. I blasted out notes to the reporter at KEYE who had done a great story about the Tour Watch and told her Spencer had succeeded – in spades. Spencer had raised $32,543 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and we were headed down to Austin’s Hyatt on Town Lake for a weekend with other fundraisers, many of them cancer survivors. Spencer loaded up with a record 52 wrist bands to start the weekend (and the interview). Leslie Coons from KEYE met us at the hotel where, before we even got in the front door, Spencer was giving away wrist bands. Spencer made me walk away from the interview so he would not be nervous.
The Ride for the Roses weekend is an incredible thing. As a yellow jersey rider, Spencer attended several events. Every event is attended by cancer survivors and people who raised large amounts of money to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Saturday morning, they held a big event for kids with an adventure race at Austin’s Auditorium Shores. Spencer brought his friend Oliver to participate in the kids’ adventure race. Before it started, we did a live feed for one of the morning news shows, inviting people to come down and participate in a day celebrating cancer survivorship. After the kid event, we went to the Livestrong Village and got a couple of books signed. After Spencer got Linda Armstrong Kelly to sign his copy of her book, he noticed that Grace and Isabelle Armstrong did not have wrist bands on that morning, so he gave one wrist band to each of them.
I could, and at some point should, go on and on about the events we attended and the people we met at them. It is an indescribable good to share stories and spend fun time with a group of dedicated cancer survivors and supporters. I believe that a critical element of thriving in cancer survivorship is attitude. Attitude is everything. It might not make you live longer, but it will make whatever life you have worth living.
Spencer got his dream that week. He got to meet Lance and go for a bike ride with him. Thanks to the great folks running the Peloton Project at the LAF there was a short, slower ride for kids and cancer patients still in treatment. We got to ride with that group, listen to Robin Williams joke as he rode behind us, and we beat Lance Armstrong up a hill just outside Austin1. By the end of the weekend, Spencer had one wrist band on each wrist, having given the other 50 (and then some since we had a bunch in our luggage) to people who seemed to need one.
Stay tuned for more of the oddball thing that is Spencer Sartin’s unpaid Media Career. I filled out the paperwork last night. The big news should be official tomorrow or Thursday. Step 4 in the contorted path will be posted tonight.
1 Spencer requires that when I tell this story, I also disclose that at the time we beat Lance Armstrong up a hill, Lance was, in fact, pushing us. Looking at the photo however (which I don’t yet have rights to post here), it appears that Lance may actually have been holding us back. I think we had him beat.