Millions of People in Poverty Provided with Shoes

1 12 2010

In his book Saving the World at Work, Tim Sanders discusses the concept of the “Saver Soldier”. A Saver Soldier, according to Sanders, is “a highly motivated individual who leverages work as a platform to save the world”.

He gives several examples, among them the following story about a group of sales representatives from Timberland who had gathered in post-Katrina New Orleans for a sales conference. They went on a tour and performed some local community service. The story picks up from there:

At the end of the tour, the buses parked to allow the reps to get out and walk around the neighborhood. As they did, one rep noticed a makeshift community gathering spot constructed of tarps and rotted wood where a middle-aged man in a baseball cap was taking notes on a clipboard. The sales rep started a conversation with the man and soon discovered that he was a volunteer community organizer who had lived in the Ninth Ward pre-Katrina.

Moved by the moment, the rep asked the volunteer what the community center most needed.

“Shoes,” the volunteer replied, pointing to a chalkboard that listed shoes at the top of the Please Drop Off list. “Used ones, new ones–we need shoes.” He then explained that many of the community service volunteers were working in flip-flops and soleless  shoes in an area littered with rusty nails and splintered boards.

The Timberland employee immediately bent down, unlaced his boots, and handed them to the volunteer. He then walked barefoot back to the buses, where employees were loading up for the ride back to the hotel.

A coworker, who noticed the sales rep wasn’t wearing his boots, asked why. “That man there told me that they needed shoes,” the sales rep replied, pointing to the community center. “I gave him mine.”

The coworker stood up, left the bus, and gave the volunteer his shoes, too. The others watched, and acted: In the next ten minutes, the buses emptied out as all two hundred sales reps walked to the community center and donated their shoes or boots to the Ninth Ward, even though, for many of them, these Timberland boots were prized possessions.

The volunteer, overwhelmed, scrambled to keep pairs matched together, tucking laces into boots and organizing them by size. All he could muster was a repetitive “Thank you, thank you” to every Timberlander.

The trip back to the hotel was silent, as employees reflected on what they’d seen that day. A senior meeting planner later recalled, “It was the quietest twenty-minute bus ride I’ve ever been on.”

That first Saver Soldier experience began with the simple act of asking the question “what do you need?”. From the question came the answer, and the Saver opportunities were quick to drive to a different scale (from 1 pair of boots to 200 pairs) in as little as ten minutes.

The Saver Soldier mentality can do more than just add personal value to the Soldier and a few individual beneficiaries. It can also be an effective way to build brand equity in a company.

A related example is that of Toms Shoes. Toms recently gave away its one millionth pair of shoes to people living in poverty. In a recent NPR interview, founder and CEO Blake Mycoskie describes the philosophy of the company, and how it got its name. There is no Tom. Mycoskie explains:

Tom is a concept, not a person. It stands for shoes for tomorrow, because as the 34-year-old Texas native recalls, “We said for every pair of our shoes that’s purchased today, we’ll give away a pair tomorrow. It’s the tomorrow’s shoes project.”

Why shoes? Here are some reasons from the Toms Web site:

Many children in developing countries grow up barefoot. Whether at play, doing chores or going to school, these children are at risk:

  • A leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted diseases, which can penetrate the skin through bare feet. Wearing shoes can help prevent these diseases, and the long-term physical and cognitive harm they cause.
  • Wearing shoes also prevents feet from getting cuts and sores. Not only are these injuries painful, they also are dangerous when wounds become infected.
  • Many times children can’t attend school barefoot because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don’t have shoes, they don’t go to school. If they don’t receive an education, they don’t have the opportunity to realize their potential.

 

OK, so sell a shoe, then give a shoe away. Sounds like a wonderful and noble idea. But, what if you’re a board member of Toms; how do you feel about the costs associated with giving away a million pairs of shoes? Well, that depends on how many shoes you would have sold had you not been giving away free shoes.

Toms Grey Flannel Men's Classics

I have to be honest; I’m certainly not the best judge of fashion, but there’s nothing I personally find particularly stylish or otherwise attractive about Toms shoes. It would not occur to me to walk by them in a department store and buy them. But, knowing that my $50 is going to provide someone deep in poverty acquire a pair of well-made shoes when otherwise they would have none? That’s a value proposition I can get behind.

And, of course, that’s exactly the point. Create commercial value in the company by way of creating value in the basic quality of life of people who need help. By buying a pair of Toms, each of us can be a Saver Soldier, and that can be a significant competitive differentiator. It provides Toms the ability to better compete, and sell lots more shoes. Win/win/win.

To get involved:

Saving the World at Work

Toms

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Thousands of Years of Life Expectancy Added

6 10 2009

During the week of September 20th I had the distinct honor of being a part of the BikeTown Africa project in Orange Farm, Soweto, South Africa. This project was originated by Bicycling Magazine editor Steve Madden in 2006, extending the BikeTown project he started in the U.S. in 2003. The project is a partnership with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Secure the Future program and Kona Bicycles. The mission of the program is to provide purpose-built, durable bicycles to health workers in countries most affected by HIV and AIDS, so those heath workers can expand the quality of care to patients by minimizing the transit time between care visits. Kona designed and manufactures the bikes to account for the specific conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, and Secure the Future coordinates with local relief organizations to determine how best to distribute the bicycles to the point of need.

Below is from my journal entry for Day 3. To me this experience sums up the value of this program.

In the last two days we’ve built 260 Kona AfricaBikes, largely due to the direct support of 30 local health workers from the community. These are the very health workers who will be receiving these bikes to use as transport to administer to their patients in their area. The formal handover ceremony is tomorrow.

To celebrate the completion of the build, we all went to a local shebeen (pub) and had some social time. For context, these workers live in some of the poorest sections in the township. None that I have been working with the last two days has been wearing clothing that’s been recently washed. They administer to people who they describe as being significantly worse off than themselves. While we were at the shebeen I had the opportunity to get a head start on my interviews with a couple of them, and learned something I think rather important.

Today, a health worker has 10-14 patients assigned. Each patient is infected with HIV, and many others with TB as well. The role of the health worker is to deliver medications, perform critical hygiene functions if necessary (depending on the stage of the illness), and track the administration of HIV and TB drugs.

In a typical day, they can see up to 5 patients, which means that even for the sickest patients they can at best visit them every 2-3 days. This is due to the extended travel distances on foot, which sometimes have to be extended due to the risk of traveling through some more dangerous areas on foot.

With a bicycle, however, they were confident they would be able to visit each patient at least once per day, and twice per day for the sickest patients. Obviously for a patient on a triple cocktail as well as an antibioitics course for TB, this is a critical enabling development because it allows them to personally administer the drugs at the proper times of day to their critical patients, something they can very rarely do today due to the basic logistics.

Each of these workers was thrilled to have access to the bike, not for the bike but because they were clearly and genuinly passionate about caring better for their patients. It was really an inspiring day.

Doing some simple math, conservatively these 260 bikes could add more than 10,000 years of life expectancy to patients in South Africa:

[260 bikes to workers] x

[12 patients per worker] x

[4 years of additional life expectancy per patient (due to daily care and medication oversight)] =

12,480 years!

Each of these bicycles has a landed cost of about $120 or so. That comes out to an investment of $2.50 per year in additional expectancy. Quite a worthwhile investment for any local economy.

The summary quote, however, came from Meshack, a health worker we worked with throughout the week:

“Our patients thank you. They may die, but thanks to you, they will die with dignity.”

Some videos of the program:

Day 1 Summary

Day 2 Summary

Gum Boot Dance

Day 3 Summary

Visit to Inkanyezi Community Center

Day 4, in 4 Parts

To get involved:

BikeTown Africa

Secure the Future

Kona BikeTown





Millions of Citizens Better Informed

21 06 2009

This week I was catching up on a podcast that I like a lot: NPR’s On the Media. The topic from this particular segment from May 29 was the demise of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer print edition, and the impact on the availability of solid journalism in the Seattle area. As a former Seattle resident, I was a little sad. I got to thinking also about the events of this week in Iran, and how social media took such a prominent role in both getting the news out and keeping the established media accountable. In many ways it was a “revolution within a revolution”.

My first instinct when I hear of an institution like the P-I going under is to be disappointed, because I respect the profession of journalism in general, and I understand that it means that there are going to be a block of quality reporters from that newsroom out of work. These are people who by definition don’t do what they do for the money; they do it to keep us all better informed in a meaningful way, and do so using a professional filter that allows each of us to have a measure of confidence that what we’re reading is something we can believe.

This editorial professionalism is enormously important, and something we cannot lose sight of as traditional print journalism dies and transitions online. Going back to the On the Media segment, there was a good discussion about how these reporters have been replaced by “news gatherers”. Eli Sanders, quoted below, is a senior writer for The Stranger, an alt weekly in Seattle.

BOB GARFIELD: In general, how are the news gatherers doing at gathering the news that the reporters used to report?

ELI SANDERS: You can see them struggling to keep their heads above water, I think. If you go to the site today, you’ll see a lot of links to other news outlets in the region for basic stories, links to The Seattle Times, which is The P-I’s former archrival, which it would never have, in the past, wanted to credit on basics news of the city, links to the Tacoma News Tribune, which is a paper in the city south of Seattle.

So, they are trying valiantly, with a staff of 14 news gatherers, to cover the city in the way that their staff of 150-plus used to, but it’s an impossible task.

That’s a pretty depressing thought, that there would be human “news gatherers” replacing classicly-trained professional reporters. It’s especially true considering that my home page both on my PC’s browser and on my iPhone is Google News, which I have to believe does an immeasurably better job of “news gathering” than a person would, does it in real time, and does it for free.

The conversation transitions into how the gaps are being filled now that there isn’t a traditional news room. The conclusion is that social media is filling many of the gaps. In Seattle, it’s neighborhood blogs that are taking over the heavy lifting:

BOB GARFIELD: Now, I know your own weekly, The Stranger, has filled some of that vacuum. How else has it been filled?

ELI SANDERS: It’s been filled by community blogs, in some measure. West Seattle has West Seattle Blog. Ballard, which is a trendy neighborhood, has My Ballard. Capitol Hill has a number of blogs, including CapitalHillSeattle.com. Notable neighborhood blogs tend to be the wealthier ones.

But in the poorer neighborhoods you don’t have blogs that are as well known. They exist, and they certainly cover the poorer neighborhoods, but they are not as robust as the others.

Tracy Record, a journalist and the maintainer of the aforementioned West Seattle Blog, was asked by host Brooke Gladstone how the blog got started:

TRACY RECORD: It was one year after we started the site, in December of 2006, the whole area here was hit by a tremendous windstorm. And our neighborhood in particular suffered from outages, and it was very difficult, particularly in the citywide media, to find any West Seattle-specific information.

Some of the small readership we’d built up at the time started asking, do you guys know anything about what’s going on, can you find out any information? And so taking the skills that I had from more than a quarter century in journalism, we just kind of turned ourselves into a mobile news team and headed out.

The start of that particular blog, which has now replaced core subject areas of a defunct 146-year-old newspaper, was a power outage. An unexpected event that created a need that became a new, localized journalistic outlet that grew into an essential news medium for thousands.

This made me reflect on the events of this week in Iran.

For those of you who may be reading this that have not been following social media’s relationship and impact on the events following the Iranian election, here‘s a quick timeline from CNN. What’s not in that timeline is fact that as the world’s leading news agencies were being ejected from Iran, and the Iranian government were actively shutting down Web and e-mail access as well as cell and wireline telephone access, Twitter and Facebook were ablaze with realtime information.

Social media quickly became the news outlet to the world. At one point, Twitter had over 221,000 Iran-related updates in one hour. Twitter was planning to do schedule maintenance and the US Government asked them to postpone it. What they were providing was too important to cut off, even for a couple of hours.

At the same time, the major news outlets were covering comparatively little about what was proving to be a historic event. CNN, usually the Lead Dog in these situations, was not doing any of its customary wall-to-wall. So, who was holding them accountable?

You guessed it. Twitter users. CNN took a pounding in the Twittersphere, and in direct response they stepped up and started covering much more on balance with the BBC, NY Times and other outlets. CNN had been courting the social media-savvy audience for months, and they responded quickly to the pressure. Rightly so, and to their credit.

With 221,000 tweets an hour, though, why do we need CNN? Do we?

I say yes, very much so. We still need journalistic editorial oversight of the information. We still need analysis.

We still need newsrooms, with journalists we can believe.

The relevance of Twitter (and Facebook, and YouTube, and FriendFeed) has been firmly established, flowing in the undercurrent of the larger events of the Iranian election. However, massive volumes of information do not make for journalism. There has always been a massive volume of information available out there, since before Gutenberg. Whether it’s reporting on the school board meeting, or on the public shooting of a 16-year-old Iranian girl named Neda, we still need professionals to sift through the information, verify it, put it in context, and present it to us so we can put it to use.

That’s the core of a free society; the spirit of the First Amendment. It leads to millions of citizens better informed, and more able to choose their own destiny. Journalism should not be presumed dead in the age of social media. It just needs to adjust to the new medium, and the new rules.

In the meantime, it’s up to us, as consumers of information, to insist on professional journalism’s survival. It’s a noble calling.





Thousands of stories of human challenge told through photographs

12 04 2009

Some time ago I happened upon the blog of Zoriah Miller, an independent photojournalist who has captured some extraordinarily powerful images. There’s very little I can say here other than you really must visit his blog, and then his commercial site, to gain a full appreciation of both the quality of his work and the extent to which he’s traveled to the darkest corners of the world to expose the challenges of humanity.

Zoriah’s most recent blog post focuses on HIV/AIDS patients in Asia. The images are jarring. Here are a couple of examples:

Here are some pictures from an April blog post, documenting poverty in Kenya:


I love quality photography, mostly because I know I don’t have the talent to capture images like this. Looking at the image immediately above of the Kenyan girl in the checkered dress, for example, the mastery of the correct focal plane here is just amazing. It’s as if she’s standing inches off the screen.

In the spirit if being balanced, I came to know about Zoriah through a not-so-uplifting debate about some photographs he took and chose to publish of US Marines when he was embedded in Iraq, images which caused a lot of controversy when he broke a covenant with the the Marine Corps. I’m choosing not to address that debate here, but rather to highlight other areas of contribution outside if those incidents. If you want to read the balance of that issue, here is a NY Times account from which you can draw your personal conclusions.

My objective here is to highlight that Zoriah clearly has the talent to generate top dollar taking other types of photographs with much higher general commercial appeal, but he’s chosen to embed himself in armed conflicts, travel to scenes of natural disasters, and document the suffering of famine and disease. It’s clearly not for his benefit that he’s doing this, it’s for ours. Even if the outcome is controversial, we’re always more aware as a result. It helps us all gain a better understanding of scale and pitch in each case. The number of important stories vividly told here is a personal unit of measure that’s significant and inspiring.

To get involved…

In Zoriah’s own words:

“Each photo story that I bring to the world costs literally thousands of dollars to produce. While transportation to and from remote locations eats up the majority of my budget, I must also pay for food, accommodation, insurance and equipment such as body armor, cameras, lenses, photo storage and equipment maintenance costs. These photo stories depend on your support and funding.

Without your donations these projects will live only in my dreams and not in reality, where the world can see them and be affected by them. If you enjoy seeing this work and believe in supporting truly independent photojournalism, please support it.”

You can donate to his efforts by following this link.





Children Provided Educational Opportunities

18 03 2009

In 2002, Nicholas Negroponte of MIT founded the One Laptop Per Child initiative. The mission of the initiative, from the OLPC Web site, is as follows:

To create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. When children have access to this type of tool they get engaged in their own education. They learn, share, create, and collaborate. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future.

The program outlines what they call The Five Principles, which are as follows:

  1. Child Ownership – The child owns the laptop and is expected to protect it and care for it
  2. Low Ages – The laptops are designed to be first adopted by children ages 6-12
  3. Saturation – Every child should have a laptop, and nobody should be left out
  4. Connection – The laptops should always be connected, both to each other and to the Internet
  5. Free and Open Source – The laptops should use open source technologies to ensure that the experience is extensible and can grow with the child

When I first heard about this idea, I think I was in good company in being skeptical. I did not think that the manufacturing and distribution costs could possibly hit the target $100 point originally discussed, and that’s turned out to be true.  But, the project has gotten the unit cost down to $180 according to a recent CNN article, which is very impressive given the capabilities these units offer, including wireless capability and solar power.

The net cost of investing in such laptops in classroom comes sharply into focus when you consider the comparative costs of textbooks across a variety of subjects. 2005 study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups showed that the typical annual costs for textbooks at an American university are $900 per year. The cost is approximately half in Africa or the Middle East, but according to Bruce Hildebrandt of the Higher Education Association of American Publishers, those lower prices in other countries are primarily to discourage piracy, Hildebrandt says costs the textbook industry $500M to $1B annually in Asia and Africa.

Certainly elementary educational materials are less expensive than university materials on a per-student basis, but there are hundreds of millions more elementary school students worldwide. It’s a completely different scale. OLPC hits the bottom of the pyramid, not the top.

Further, textbooks can’t help students communicate with each other or peers around the world. They can’t blog, can’t connect to RSS feeds, and can’t Twitter. They can’t help a student get video-based tutorials of processes, or let them attend live streaming sessions of events around the world. And, perhaps most importantly, they can’t dynamically refresh their content when there’s an important political change in their locale or around the world. Textbooks don’t know when borders change, or when regimes change.

Some interesting and important stats from the CNN article:

  • OLPC is working actively with the Afghan government to provide laptops to girls in Afghanistan. Under the Taliban regime, girls were not allowed to attend school at all.
  • To date nearly 750,000 laptops have been distributed in countries such as Haiti, Mexico, Uruguay, and Mongolia, and according to Negroponte, that number will double by June 2009
  • In Rwanda, still recovering from the genocide in 1994, a school which received OLPC’s XO laptops went from 50% attendance to having 1,000 more students than capacity, and has students now attending on weekends

Clearly there will be further scale economies as the distribution grows, and as components naturally get less expensive and more compact. Through open-source software, the capabilities of these devices will continue to expand. The team of leaders appears top-notch, and I’m sure the stories of opportunity are just beginning to come in for this initiative.

No more skepticism. I’m in.

To get involved…

OLPC Ways to Give





Thousands of Citizens Living Peacefully

8 03 2009

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

It’s one of the 7  Habits of Highly Successful People, from the classic book by Steven R. Covey. I see the importance of that rule of thumb every day in my professional life. So often when we are engaged in debate with co-workers we so desperately want to get our point across that we can’t wait for the other person to JUST FINISH TALKING ALREADY so we can TELL THEM WHAT THEY NEED TO HEAR.

What Dr. Covey’s coaching tells us is that this is a very dangerous trap to fall into. It’s poison to professional and personal relationships, and behaving this way is a critical barrier to accomplishing anything of real significance in business, marriage, or any other setting where collaboration is needed. To be successful in these situations, it’s critical for each party to focus first on understanding the point of view of the other. This doesn’t in any way require agreement with that point of view, just a thorough understanding of it. Only then can true progress be made.

Richard Holbrooke and George Mitchell are two names recently in the news who must understand this principle more than any two Americans on the planet. In their line of work, behaving in the way described above  does not just kill a business deal or threaten a marriage. In their line of work, allowing a breakdown means thousands, perhaps millions, of citizens on both sides of an armed conflict may die. 

Richard Holbrooke is a professional diplomat who was recently named by President Obama to be the Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He had previously served in as the United States Ambassador to the UN, but arguably his greatest achievement was negotiating a peace agreement in Bosnia which culminated in the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995 ending the Bosnian War. This ended the war that saw the introduction of the term “ethnic cleansing” into contemporary vernacular, and which saw the rape and murder of between 20,000 and 50,000 people between 1992 and 1995 according to estimates (see Wikipedia note). 

George Mitchell is a former Majority Leader in the United States Senate, who was also recently tapped by President Obama to be a special envoy to the Middle East. In a diplomatic context he is most well-known for leading the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland that led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. That agreement established a functional power-sharing agreement in Northern Ireland as well as the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. Prior to the Good Friday Agreement, the civil war between Catholic and Protestant factions in Northern Ireland had led to the deaths of more than 3,100 people through bombings and other violence that had terrorized Irish and British alike from 1968 to 1994. Recently, a police officer and two soliders were killed in Northern Ireland, allegedly by a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), but that action was quickly condemned by Gerry Adams, the president of Sinn Fein, the political arm of the IRA that is a party to the power-sharing agreement. The violence is not expected to continue, a sign of the durability of the agreement signed more than 10 years ago. 

Ambassador Holbrooke and Senator Mitchell are outstanding examples of two Americans who have given their professional lives to the cause of advancing diplomacy for the sake of lasting peace in areas of conflict. It takes a very specific and valuable skillset to be able to broker agreements of this importance and sensitivity. I wish the two of them the best of success in their new callings on behalf of the new administration. Their time and talents are certainly needed. 

To get involved…

http://www.state.gov/careers/





Cancer Diagnoses Survived

21 02 2009

So, if you’ve talked to me at any point for more than about 10 minutes you know I’m a rabid cycling fan. I also happen to be a Lance Armstrong fan, which is not much of a given as you may think. Many people around the world have never accepted his comeback from testicular cancer at face value and have come to think of Lance as a drug cheat who’s just never gotten caught. It’s a mantle he’s worn throughout his career. 

Without going into the merits of that point of view, which is decidedly NOT the purpose of this blog, I sincerely hope that no matter what people’s historical opinions of Lance are that they can rally around his comeback today. To support that hope, some background:

This past September Lance announced his comeback to pro cycling. He described his rationale for doing so in a recent interview in Outside. In summary, he figured that by his coming back and racing on each continent he could focus dramatically more attention on raising funding for cancer research and prevention.  Further, he’s not taking any salary. His earnings go into the foundation. He’s got the money he needs to live on.

The metrics he’s looking to manage (from the Lance Armstrong Foundation) are pretty staggering:

CANCER STATISTICS

  • There are more than 10.5 million cancer survivors living in the United States today
  • This number has more than tripled in the past 30 years
  • The number of survivors will grow as the population ages and progress against cancer continues

INCIDENCE AND MORTALITY

  • 1.4 million Americans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year
  • 560,000 Americans are expected to die from cancer this year, or more than 1,500 per day
  • Nearly 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop cancer during their lifetime
  • Within the next decade, cancer is likely to replace heart disease as the leading cause of death in the U.S. It is already the biggest killer of those under the age of 85.
  • Today 65% of adults diagnosed with cancer will be alive five years after diagnosis, up from 50% in the 1970s
  • African-American men and women have the highest mortality rates for all cancer sites combined
  • While dramatic survival improvements have been achieved in patients diagnosed with cancer at age 15 or younger and steady improvement has been made against a number of cancers common among those over age 40, little or no progress has been seen in the adolescent and young adult population. In fact, among those aged 25 to 35 years, survival has not improved in more than two decades.

CANCER COSTS AND INSURANCE COVERAGE

  • The overall cost for cancer last year was $206 billion, which includes $78 billion for medical bills, $18 billion for lost productivity from the illness, and $110 billion due to lost productivity from premature death.
  • 17% of Americans younger than age 65 have no health insurance coverage and 24% of Americans age 65 or older only have Medicare.

Why is Lance coming back? Because whenever he gets on a bike in a race, he’s making headlines. And when he’s making headlines, he can talk about cancer. And when he can talk about cancer in such a public way, he can dramatically affect the level of awareness of the statistics above. As an example, his first professional race of his comeback was the Tour Down Under in Australia in January. While he was there, he was able to gain a commitment from Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for $3.8M in new cancer initiatives. Could he have gotten that commitment in more conventional ways? Maybe. But Lance could do it more effectively in the context of a media frenzy with lots of pictures of him on his bike.

Which, of course, is exactly the point. 

He’s even worked with Trek to create custom-painted bikes for his races, painted in the colors of his LIVESTRONG foundation and with icons related to his cause. Here’s his custom time trial bike, taken at this past weekend’s Amgen Tour of California prologue in Sacramento:

LiveStrong time trial bike

LIVESTRONG time trial bike

Ironically, this bike was stolen from the team’s truck later that night. Fortunately, it’s so utterly distinctive that it was recovered later in the week. The numbers painted on the frame represent the following:

  • 1274 represents the number of days between his retirement and his comeback
  • 27.5 represents the millions of people who have died of cancer in that time

It’s a wonderful example of a personal unit of measure and a person taking on a cause to manage that metric. No matter what you thought of him before, hopefully you can be a fan in the future.

 

To get involved…

Lance Armstrong Foundation