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Armstrong pledges $500,000 for cancer patients

9/4/2005

AUSTIN, Texas -- Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance
Armstrong and his namesake cancer survivorship foundation will
donate $500,000 to help cancer victims displaced by Hurricane
Katrina get treatment.

Armstrong said Saturday he expects the money will be used to
help transport cancer patients to hospitals and cancer centers
where they can continue to get treatment. He said more money could
be donated in the future.

"If you've started treatment and you miss a week or two weeks,
it's potentially fatal," Armstrong said. "For me and the
foundation, we just looked at that and asked not just what can we
do, but how does it fit into our mission?"

Armstrong survived a bout with testicular cancer that had spread
to his lungs and brain before he won the first of his record seven
straight Tours titles. He retired from competitive racing in July
after his final Tour victory.

Armstrong said the money would be sent to the hospitals and
cancer centers, which would then arrange for transportation for
patients.

Armstrong said he's been following the hurricane crisis on
television and in newspapers.

"It just seems like help was late to come there," he said.

Saturday's other Katrina developments:

• At college football games across the country Saturday, fans
contributed money to help victims of the hurricane.

Fans at Wisconsin's 56-42 season-opening win against Bowling
Green filled American Red Cross collection canisters, and there was
a moment of silence before the Michigan-Northern Illinois game at
Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich.

• The Milwaukee Brewers planned a similar fund-raiser during their
game against San Diego on Saturday night, just as they will for
every remaining game at Miller Park this season.

• NASCAR driver Carl Edwards dedicated his victory in the Busch
Series Ameriquest 300 on Saturday night to the victims of the
hurricane and said he planned to donate his winnings to one of the
many relief funds.

• Some Alabama fans stayed home Saturday night to give at least
300 refugees from the hurricane a chance to see a Crimson Tide
football game.

For the past several days Alabama fans have been dropping off
their tickets to Saturday night's Middle Tennessee-Alabama game at
a Red Cross shelter at the university's recreation center, which
has been home to about 500 refugees.

• The University of New Orleans canceled its women's volleyball season, athletic director Jim Miller said.

• Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and his brother
Eli, of the New York Giants, who grew up in New Orleans, arrived in
Baton Rouge, La., to help distribute 31,000 pounds of nonperishable
items, including baby formula, diapers and water.

• New Orleans Saints running backs Deuce McAllister and Fred
McAfee signed autographs and spent time with victims of the
hurricane at the American Red Cross Center at the Mississippi
Coliseum.

• Oakland Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins will make a $1,000
donation to the American Red Cross for every touchdown pass he
throws and every game the Raiders win this season.

• The Green Bay Packers scheduled an autograph session and blood
drive at a shopping mall for Sunday, and the Milwaukee Mile race
track in West Allis, Wis., established a relief drive to gather
food, diapers, water and toiletries.

• Buffalo Bills quarterback J.P. Losman will join those donating
part of their salaries to help hurricane victims. A Southern
California native, Losman spent four years playing at New
Orleans-based Tulane before being selected by Buffalo in the first
round of the 2004 draft.

He supports efforts by Baltimore Ravens Deion Sanders, who
called for each team in the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball, as
well as other pro sports, to give at least $1,000 apiece through
payroll deductions to help him reach a goal of $1.5 million to $3
million.

• Race tracks across the country have designated Oct. 8 as
"Racing to the Rescue Day." Jockeys, trainers, breeders and
owners will be encouraged to contribute a percentage of their purse
winnings on Breeders' Cup Day at Belmont Park on Oct. 29 to help
the horse racing community affected by the hurricane.

The NTRA's Charities Racing to the Rescue Fund will pass
contributions on to existing charities established to aid in
recovery efforts.

• Just as he did following last year's destructive hurricane season, golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman is lending his personal helicopter to the relief effort.

Norman sent the helicopter to the greater Louisiana area
yesterday, and said it'll remain in service to help the cause for
as long as month. His pilot, Gary Hogan, will fly medical supplies and other items into the affected areas.

Norman's estate on Jupiter Island, about 90 miles north of
Miami, was damaged by hurricanes Frances and Jeanne last year, when he also lent the helicopter, which can carry about 1,000 pounds of supplies and shuttle small groups of patients and medics, if necessary, to recovery efforts.

• In addition to the hat that will be passed among fans at all major-league games Wednesday, Roberto Clemente Day, each Reds player will donate one day's pay (about $230,000 for the team), the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

• The Rockets will turn the Toyota Center into a clearinghouse for aid and information called the Houston HopeFest next week, the Houston Chronicle reported.

"We're trying to create a one-stop place for people to try to get their lives back together," Rockets vice president Tad Brown told the paper.

• The arena that already hosts the NHL's
Nashville Predators is being offered up as a temporary home for 12
home games for the NBA's New Orleans Hornets this season.

Hugh Lombardi, general manager of the Gaylord Entertainment
Center, said he has contacted the NBA to offer the arena as a
potential site for some home games. The New Orleans Arena is
located next to the Louisiana Superdome, and the NBA has informed
teams the Hornets may relocate.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.