The Livestrong Foundation and the Fight Against Cancer

Updated January 30, 2022
Woman with cancer wearing scarf

The Livestrong Foundation is committed to providing relief for the everyday problems associated with cancer. Their goal is to be a source of help for cancer survivors and those who love them and/or care for them on a daily basis. Learn more about this important organization that's dedicated to assisting people whose lives are forever impacted by a cancer diagnosis.

Key Livestrong Foundation Priorities

The Livestrong Foundation has evolved a lot since it first began in 1997. The organization has a three-star Charity Navigator rating, which indicates that the organization is recognized for high levels of accountability, transparency, and financial management. Rather than focusing solely on one challenge associated with cancer, the Livestrong Foundation has three key priorities: support services, community programs, and system change.

Direct Cancer Support Services

The Livestrong Foundation offers no-cost individual support to people who have cancer, as well as their families and caregivers. They offer a wide variety of resources designed to help people navigate all stages of cancer and the many ways it impacts daily life.

  • Stage-Based Resources - The Livestrong Foundation's website offers an ever-growing collection of support-focused resources for people who are impacted by cancer. One reviewer on GreatNonprofits describes their resources as a "life bible." You can get customized results by entering information about your situation and interests, such as whether you have been diagnosed or are a caregiver, and what stage of cancer you have.
  • Livestrong Guidebook - The foundation has created a comprehensive two-volume guidebook designed to provide cancer survivors and their loved ones and carers with key information related to the circumstances they are facing. It includes expert insights on the physical and emotional aspects of living with cancer, as well as practical, day-to-day matters. The guidebook is free and is available in a print edition or as a digital download.
  • Livestrong Fertility - Cancer treatment can lead to infertility, which can have a significant impact on the lives and finances of cancer patients and survivors. To help meet their needs, the Livestrong Fertility Discount Program has been established to provide qualifying cancer survivors with significant savings on the cost of fertility preservation services at participating clinics throughout the United States.
  • After Cancer Treatment Brochure - Cancer survivors continue to need support and access to resources after they have completed cancer treatment. The Livestrong Foundation has produced a series of free digital brochures to help people navigate life as they transition from being in-treatment cancer patients to post-treatment cancer survivors. Culturally focused versions are available to meet the needs and interests of the diverse population of cancer survivors.

Community Programs for Cancer Concerns

Living with cancer introduces a plethora of challenges into the daily lives of survivors and the people who love and care for them. The Livestrong Foundation helps address the everyday concerns associated with cancer by developing community-based education and fitness programs.

  • Livestrong at the YMCA - Livestrong is committed to supporting the unique fitness and well-being needs of people who have been diagnosed with cancer. They partner with YMCAs throughout the United States to offer low-cost or free fitness programs to cancer survivors. Participants work with certified fitness instructors who are uniquely qualified to train cancer survivors. Participants' immediate family members also receive memberships to the YMCA.
  • Livestrong at School - When a child's friend, parent, or other beloved family member is diagnosed with cancer, they need a unique combination of support and education to help them process and understand what is taking place. To help with this situation, Livestrong has developed a curriculum that teaches children about cancer, and about what it means when someone you love has cancer. The curriculum is available to teachers, parents, and students at no charge for all grades (K-12).

System Change

The Livestrong Foundation doesn't focus solely on connecting with individual survivors and their caregivers. The organization also works to bring about changes to the way the battle against cancer is fought throughout the world, both through its own efforts and in partnership with other organizations. They are making a difference through:

  • The Livestrong Cancer Institutes - The Livestrong Foundation provided $50 million in funding to establish The Livestrong Cancer Institutes at The University of Texas medical school. The entity will focus on improving and modernizing cancer treatment and patient care in order to improve the quality of life for those whose health is impacted by cancer. They will also seek innovative approaches to cancer prevention.
  • Livestrong Solutions Grants - Recognizing that one organization can't fix all the challenges posed by cancer, the Livestrong Foundation is committed to helping fund organizations that are working to solve cancer-related problems that are often overlooked. They do this by awarding grants to other organizations that are at the forefront when it comes to developing sustainable and innovative solutions to such issues.
  • Livestrong Surveys - In order to better understand the needs of people who are impacted by cancer, the Livestrong Foundation periodically surveys cancer survivors and their caregivers and family members to gauge what their needs are and how the organization can best meet those needs. The feedback collected through these surveys is used to inform program development and create resources designed to address the real-world needs of cancer survivors.

Ways to Get Involved With Livestrong

LIVESTRONG writsbands

Whether cancer has directly impacted you or not, the Livestrong Foundation is an impactful cause to support. You can get involved by donating money, spreading the word about the organization's work, or participating in one or more of their marathons, bike tours, or other fitness-focused events. You can also organize a local fundraiser for the organization or purchase and wear Livestrong wristbands. Donors and volunteers help raise money to continue the organization's important work, and they also raise awareness of the impact cancer has on the lives of people who are affected by it. While scandal associated with founder Lance Armstrong impacted the organization in the past, he resigned from the board of directors in 2012 and is no longer affiliated with the organization.

The Livestrong Foundation and the Fight Against Cancer