The next year, at the ESPY awards, Valvano gave one of the most inspiring and influential speeches not only in sports history, but in history itself. While accepting the inaugural Arther Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award, Valvano gave the speech that will forever be remembered.
In his speech, Jimmy V announced the creation of the V foundation. The V foundation is an organization to help find a cure for cancer. The motto Jimmy V would create for his foundation is “Don’t ever give up… Don’t ever give up.”
Valvano’s speech than continued with his famous three things you need to do every day. He said that everyday in order to live a special life, you need to laugh, you need to think, and you need to cry, it could be of happiness, joy or sadness. As long as you do all three of these things each day, you will live a special life, according to Jimmy V.
Valvano closed his speech with a statement that touches everyone’s heart and will give everyone the chills every time they listen to it. In his closing statement he said, “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.”
Unfortunately, Valvano passed away the following month after he gave his speech due to his cancer. Valvano may have passed away, but his spirit forever lives on.
Valvano created the V foundation with the motto “Don’t ever give up… Don’t ever give up.” and with his foundation, Valvano has not given up trying to find a cure for cancer.
One week a year, ESPN dedicates all the college basketball games on, to what is now called Jimmy V Week. At the end of the week, a final tournament is held called the Jimmy V Classic.
During this week, the V foundation is promoted by ESPN, but it is also a week where all current coaches and current players, along with former players and former coaches, are able to take their time and tell the world how much Jimmy V meant to them and what he means to not only college basketball, but to everyone fighting cancer.
This year, ESPN donated $1 million to the V foundation. As an organization, the foundation has raised over 100 million dollars to give to cancer research.
A cure for cancer has not been found yet, but Jimmy V and the V foundation will never give up in helping to find a cure for cancer.
Jimmy V Week is a week to remember Valvano through a week of great college basketball games, but Jimmy V Week means a whole lot more than just college basketball.
Millions of people are touched by Valvano’s words today, and more and more people will continue to be touched by legendary speech made by Valvano.
To donate to the V foundation you can text 80888 or call 1-800-4JimmyV.