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CHICAGO _ Dr. Craig Nichols had heard it all before.
The patient in front of him was being treated for a virulent, fast-spreading testicular cancer. Nichols believed his odds were improving, and that he might even be able to go back to his job.
The young man told Nichols he wanted to start a foundation to promote awareness of the disease. The oncologist nodded and felt the usual internal jab of skepticism.
"I'd had a few prominent people who had come through with that same view, but it was just kind of a deathbed conversion . . . newly diagnosed-cancer talk," Nichols said of his conversations with Lance Armstrong in 1996-97. "I thought, `Well, he'll have a little bike ride once a year and kick in $50,000 now and then.' He has totally blown me away in that regard. I really didn't expect anything near the magnitude of effort on his behalf, or how quickly and well this would grow." …