The $1.00 LIVESTRONG Yellow Wristband Lesson


A $1.00 Wristband Taught Me a Lesson!


About five years ago I noticed everyone wearing a yellow rubber bracelet with the words LIVESTRONG on their wrist.  I knew it  had something to do with the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  Cool I thought.  One day shortly thereafter, while working out at my 24-hour fitness, I  noticed they had them for sale for just $1.00.  So, I bought one and have been wearing it ever since.  Besides being an inexpensive piece of “jewelry,” it’s also become the biggest $1.00 lesson I’ve learned, and I now wear it proudly today for a reason.

It all started on a golf course in Maui about three years ago.  I guess up to this point, I had never really made the connection in my mind that this bracelet signified support for the fight against cancer.  Shortly before this day on the golf course, my wonderful sister-in-law, Lorraine, was diagnosed with cancer, and was going through a horrific time with chemotherapy.  It was sad for our family and especially my brother, Steve, Lorraine’s husband.  As I quickly found out, he was the most supportive husband to Lorraine, always at her side.  I knew, however, it was tearing him up inside and I saw him go through some changes.  We used to talk all the time, however, during that period we hardly talked; probably for two reasons.  One, he was devastated, depressed and really had nothing to say and, two, with the death of both my parents and other members of our family, I was scared and had no idea what to say nor do.  So, I blocked it out of my head, but it was bothering me tremendously inside–I felt deeply for my sister-in-law, plus, my brother was really my best friend and I missed our conversations.

Then an embarrassing moment happened on the golf course.  By way of background, George, and his family moved to Maui three years ago after he retired from UPS.  Just a few months after they started their retired life in Maui, he was diagnosed with cancer.  Steve, his brother-in-law, graciously invited me to play golf with a group of guys, one of whom was George.  Though George was tired, he still played golf (and he is good).  Well, we were golfing, George noticed my Livestrong bracelet and asked me why I wore it.  Well, I said, “it only cost a buck and it was cheap jewelry.”  George never said anything to me, but after I said it, it hit me hard.  Open mouth, insert foot.  This bracelet represents the fight against cancer and George was just diagnosed with this horrible disease.  Then I thought about my sister-in-law and what she was going through.  She was winning the battle, and I even talked about her success with George during that round of golf.  However, I felt like a complete idiot for my flippant comment about the bracelet.

Since that embarrassing moment, I wear my bracelet for a reason other than what I initially naively purchased it for.  Every day I wear it in honor of my sister-in-law, Lorraine, and George, who are both doing very well and winning their battles against cancer.  Now when I look at this bracelet, I think of them both and say a little prayer that they continue to do well and live their lives to the fullest.  I also wear this bracelet for everyone else who is winning their battle against cancer, which includes my other sister-in-law, Lettie, and even my brother, Ron, who had a brief encounter with cancer a year ago.  Being a runner, there are many stories of cancer survivors who took up running and successfully finished a 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon or Marathon.  More importantly, they are winning the race of life!

So, little did I know that the crumbled up $1.00 bill I purchased that yellow bracelet with five years ago would provide such a lesson and constant meaning in my life!  “Wear Yellow, LIVESTRONG!”


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  • Rob says:
    May 01, 2012 2:06 PM

    I also originally purchased it as a “fashion statement” when I was in college. It has literally become a part of me; never been taken off since my scare. Great read.

    I wear mine for my grandfather and for my scare a few years ago.

  • Jim H says:
    May 01, 2012 4:28 PM

    You really made it hard to keep up with my custom of making fun of you in your blog posts. So, today I’ll just say, “well said”.

  • KC Andersen says:
    May 02, 2012 9:04 AM

    I too have played golf with George, only about 9 months ago. While he did get tired, and he is WAY better than I, I kept admiring how strong he appeared – physically, mentally, and spiritually. I don’t know that I could say the same about myself if I were in his shoes. I learned a lot from George that day about standing up straight and facing all of that trouble, with a simple smile, and the occasional traditional golf curse.

    I’m proud of him and his accomplishments and look to him as a Role Model in my own life.

  • May 06, 2012 7:37 PM

    I have been wearing a Livestrong bracelet on my ankle for the past 5-6 years. It is a good reminder to me to be thankful for my health, to push through workouts, projects at work, etc when I feel like giving up because being able to run, bike, lift, and work is a blessing. Not everyone is so lucky to be living without disease, illness, etc.

  • Matt says:
    May 16, 2012 7:12 AM

    Thanks for sharing your story. I wore my LiveStrong wristband for several years as a way to remember my mother-in-law and grandmother, both of whom we lost to cancer. But, in spur-of-the-moment decision that I had been pondering for awhile, I recently took it off because I had worn it for so long, I no longer noticed it & it had lost a little bit of its purpose. Its absence is now noticeable (and not just because of the faint Minnesota tan-line left behind) and is again reminding me of those I’ve lost. I’ll probably start wearing again soon but for now, it is doing its job by not being around my wrist. peace

  • Sam Sharp says:
    January 17, 2014 1:24 AM

    I wear my livestrong wristband sometimes if I am bored and then I take it off during the night

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