Jim Valvano was diagnosed with cancer in June 1992 and less than a year later, shortly before his death in March of 1993, he spoke at the first annual ESPY Awards. While accepting the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award, he announced the creation of The V Foundation for Cancer Research, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer.
Valvano’s ESPY acceptance speech became legendary, and he closed by saying, “Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless you all.” He received a standing ovation from the ESPY crowd and now, 20 years later it is still considered to be one of the best speeches ever.
Valvano died less than two months after his famous ESPY speech but his legacy lives on with the The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Since 1993, The Foundation has raised more than $115 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all new direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. The Foundation awards grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Board.
Today donate what you can. $5, $10, $100.. what ever it is. We did and now it’s your turn. One in four people will have cancer in their lifetime so do it in honor of someone you know.