Cancer survivor defends Armstrong


Lynsay Clutter/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis, August 23 -  Just over one year ago, doctors diagnosed Cindi Hart with breast cancer. "They said it's serious, it's invasive and you'll have to do chemo."

Cindi competed in cycling for more than 20 years, winning several national championships.

In her new race against cancer, she had the same drive to beat the competition. She also felt inspired by another cyclist, Lance Armstrong and his doctors at Indiana University Hospital.

Competing through chemo treatments, one year later Cindi is still racing. But now she identifies herself as an athlete and a cancer survivor, one that supports the Lance Armstrong Foundation and shares her story to help others.

"Yes, there is life after chemo and you can get your life back," she says.

She just finished starring in a program for the Discovery Channel, she is part of "Lance's Army," cancer patients inspired by Lance. Their final episode was taped at the Tour de France when Cindi watched him win. "It was like watching Babe Ruth hit the final home run," she says.

A French newspaper is not so impressed. It published a story alleging Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs to win his first Tour de France in 1999.

Armstrong denies the allegations on his website saying the story "is nothing short of tabloid journalism."

Cindi also defends Armstrong.

This week, she races with her blood count far below normal. She knows the hurdles Lance Armstrong had to face. "I went through the same treatment, they don't give you any slack," she says.

Cindi also says when you're a cancer patient and a professional athlete like Lance, you're the most tested individuals on the planet, so Lance would never have taken that risk. She says he's just blessed with a physique that includes a large heart and lungs.

Be sure to watch for Cindi's comeback story on the Discovery Channel starting mid-September. With support from her family and with her own determination, she has become a true inspiration herself.