Former Olympic Star Has Brain Cancer

Lee Evans, along with John Carlos Rogers and Tommie Smith, made a political statement against racism in the 1968 Olympics. Now Lee Evans has brain cancer. I don’t point this out so we can all go to the Internet and click on a button in order to raise money on his behalf. Instead, I point this out because by the year 2011, everyone should have healthcare. Whether it is a famous Olympic athlete or the average American worker, we shouldn’t have to worry about bankrupting our families simply because we have a bad disease.

The Nation has more:

Lee Evans needs our help. The Olympic Gold Medalist and political activist, who exploded all records in the 400 meters at the 1968 Olympics, has been hospitalized with an aggressive brain tumor. The prognosis for the 63-year-old Evans is not good. As his fellow 1968 Olympic activist John Carlos said in an e-mail, “All of our teammates want to go out and say some prayers. All there is left to do is pray.”

But the situation is made far worse by the fact that Lee Evans, after four decades teaching and coaching at schools ranging from the University of South Alabama to Nigeria, doesn’t have health insurance. This has meant, according to Lee’s sister, Rosemary, that he has been terribly mistreated during his hospitalization. Rosemary said to me, “I heard his doctor in the hall and I heard him say he wished [Lee] had been transferred somewhere else because he didn’t have insurance…. Lee is in intense pain. Not even morphine is helping. He hasn’t eaten in several days, yet there was no IV in his arm when I first went into his room. He’s lying in his filth and nothing is happening. If family members aren’t vigilant… If we aren’t vigilant, I don’t know what would happen.”

More here.