Jim Valvano Said It All: "Don't Give Up, Don't Ever Give Up"

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Jim Valvano Said It All:
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Jim Valvano and the NCAA Champion NC State Wolfpack

Today was both the Jimmy V auction and the ESPY’s on ESPN. Founded by the late Jim Valvano in 1993, the Jimmy V Foundation has raised over $120 million to help wipe out the disease that not only took his life, but afflicted his wife and daughter, both of whom beat it.

Please visit www.jimmyv.org to learn more and donate. The foundation has put endowments in place to pay for all administrative costs, meaning every penny donated goes directly to cancer research. Thanks for indulging me the plug.

If you’re not familiar with Valvano’s speech at the very first ESPY’s, do yourself a big favor and use your google machine or watch it here. It’s amazingly funny, powerful and inspirational. His message of priorities and perseverance ended with the now famous tag line “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up”.  Watching him deliver that speech again tonight affected me like it always affects me. It moves me and reminds me to stop whining about my perceived woes and get off my ass to make something good happen.

We’ve all been touched by cancer. I recently wrote about losing a good friend and the desire to turn that into a positive. I’m proud to say that the Don Litzelman Foundation is very close to being a reality. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to work on something that means so much to so many.

It’s very easy to react to the curves that life throws us by sitting on the couch with a big tub of ice cream. Woe is me. Instead of doing that, I want you to think about Connor Grossman.

Connor’s mom and aunt are afflicted with Mulitple Sclerosis. Connor ignored the couch and the ice cream and instead decided he wanted to raise some money to help find a cure for MS. Connor was five years old at the time.

What’s followed since has been remarkable. Please visit www.marbles4ms.org and get inspired by this unbelievable boy.

Are you getting the theme here?

We all have so much to give. So much that we can accomplish if we just get off the damn couch.

It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. You don’t have to form a foundation or create art to raise money.

It starts with getting outside of ourselves sometimes and caring more about someone else. Then, even the smallest of actions is huge.

ESPN Radio offered a different package to be bid on each hour today to raise money for the V Foundation. The bids were anywhere from $3000 to $20,000.

You don’t have to win one of those bids to make a difference. Jim Valvano’s brother Bob told the story of getting a donation from an unemployed man. The man said he was sorry he couldn’t give more but prayed that the $1 he was sending would be the one that bought the slide that was under the microscope when the cure for cancer was discovered.

Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.

Follow me on Twitter@sprtsramblngman

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