Livestrong looks toward future without Armstrong

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by QUITA CULPEPPER / KVUE News and photojournalist DOUG NAUGLE

kvue.com

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 28 at 7:42 PM

CHICAGO -- Thursday members of the Livestrong Foundation gathered in Chicago for their annual meeting. It's the first time they've done so since the charity cut ties with founder Lance Armstrong.

They talked about how the organization will move forward now that the relationship with Armstrong and their recognizable old logo are things of the past.

“The change is subtle, but it's substantive,” said Executive Vice President Andy Miller. 

Changing the logo is one way the Livestrong Foundation says it's making a fresh start.

It's also changing its Day of Action from October 2, the day Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer, to May 17.

During Thursday's State of the Foundation Address in Chicago, Miller talked about the legacy and controversy its founder left behind. 

Armstrong and the Foundation cut all ties in November.

“We were deeply disappointed when we learned along with the rest of the world that we had been misled during and after Lance's cycling career,” Miller said. “We accepted the apology he made to us to move forward and we remain grateful for what he decided to create and help build.”

Livestrong celebrated 16 years of helping cancer survivors and their families in January.

This month, Austin's Livestrong Marathon raised close to $272,000 to help fight the disease.

Livestrong's permanent office is in East Austin and provides a range of free services for anyone affected by cancer. 

Nationwide, more than 2,500,000 people have been served by the organization.

“We didn't do it for Lance. We did it for our loved ones, our husbands and our wives, our mothers and fathers brothers and sisters. We did it for our children,” Miller said. “Is the Livestrong Foundation bigger than its founder? Will we survive? The answer is a resounding yes.”

Miller says that legacy of service will continue no matter what.

The charity says there's no sign donors are abandoning it due to Armstrong's troubles, although Livestrong's donations did drop by two or three percent from 2011.

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