When he was first diagnosed with stomach cancer 5 years ago, Andrew Reid had a hard time talking about it.
Initially, I didn't want to associate myself with cancer, he said. I didn't want to be a survivor, all of that stigma that goes with that.
Shortly after his surgery to remove the tumor, his wife gave him a box with a large Livestrong binder inside. He knew about Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France titles, and his cancer foundation. But Reid wanted nothing to do with it - until a couple years later.
I wasn't ready for it at the time it was given to me. But when I found it later, the other thing that was in there was a small book with survivor stories in it.
One man's story inside hit home. Chris Carley was diagnosed with the same tumor in 1996. He took part in the trials for the drug that would eventually help save Reid's life.
It was kind of one of those 'aha' moments, Reid said. I'm breaking down and the whole deal, obviously it still takes me back when I talk about it now. I wish I would have been able to see it earlier because I think it would have helped.
As a regional manager of a mortgage company, Reid now gives a percentage of his salary to the Livestrong foundation, and makes donations to Livestrong in his clients' names.
I've actually had clients come to me and say 'I didn't' know this was a part of your life. I was recently diagnosed,' the Kirkland man said.
So when Reid hears about the doping accusations, and the loss of Armstrong's titles, he shrugs it all off.
I think what is being done for cancer research through his foundation and the money being generated by that foundation will be talked about far longer than that and is much more important, said Reid.
Reid says he is speaking out to encourage other cancer patients to share their stories with others.