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My experience with the LAF LIVESTRONG wristband

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My experience with the LAF LIVESTRONG wristband

Old 03-17-06, 07:45 AM
  #26  
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Summer of '04.
Cycling bud of mine threw one at me at work.

I had no idea what it was.
I went to the web site and ordered ten more.

I still wear that original one, and am surprised at how well it has held up actually. Those things are pretty tough.
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Old 03-17-06, 08:17 AM
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Ever since we lost 3 family members within 18 months to cancer, we (entire surviving family) have been wearing them. It's not about Lance. It's about cancer.
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Old 03-17-06, 08:47 AM
  #28  
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It doesn't matter to me who or how many people wear the wrist bands, whatever cause it is they are supporting. But, I've always considered that people that wear the wrist bands are equivalant me taking any of my various charity donation receipts, and then pinning them to my shirt. Why should I care if other people are aware of my charitable donations.

And as an aside, a couple of dollars for a wrist band hardly seems as though it would be considered as charitable support.
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Old 03-17-06, 09:23 AM
  #29  
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I've had one on almost continuously since may 04.
I wear it for my mother who has non hodgkins lymphoma,
I wear it for my best friend who died of bladder cancer 1 year
after diagnosis.
The only time I don't have one on is when I give it away. If someone
asks (hardly happens anymore) I explain what it is, what livestrong means
and give it to them. I've given it to survivors, family members of patients/survivors
and the just curious folks.
It has zilch, zero, nada to do with being a badge of how much I have or haven't donated to cancer research. It isn't for people to know that I've donated to
charity, its for them to know I support their survivorship.
Wearing it is for them, not me.
Don, LAF has sold over 28 million of them at last count, at $1.00 a pop
thats a significant amount of charitable support. I've bought about 50 of
them since I tend to give them away, it all adds up.

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Old 03-17-06, 09:33 AM
  #30  
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tell us how you really feel



Originally Posted by Don Cook
It doesn't matter to me who or how many people wear the wrist bands, whatever cause it is they are supporting. But, I've always considered that people that wear the wrist bands are equivalant me taking any of my various charity donation receipts, and then pinning them to my shirt. Why should I care if other people are aware of my charitable donations.

And as an aside, a couple of dollars for a wrist band hardly seems as though it would be considered as charitable support.
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Old 03-17-06, 09:37 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by slvoid
I don't wear one.
Anybody still wearing one of those friendship bracelets of the late '80's?


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Old 03-17-06, 10:40 AM
  #32  
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i find the yellow band interesting as cultural artifact and phenomenon. [no, i don't wear one.] it has so many meanings attached to it that i really do think it's a bit disingenuous to say "i wear it because," as if there is only one reason. [sorry, marty... and yeah, i'm kinda back.]

when you think about it, the livestrong band has a whole lot of meanings that interact with each other: it is visible evidence of financial support for cancer research [like don cook's receipts]; it is a personal association with cancer, saying "i was close to someone who died of or survived cancer;" it is declaration of identifiation with a cultural scene [cycling]; it is a self-conscious association with victory and success [i mean, who'd wear one if it was promoted by an overweight gas station attendant in el paso?]... and i'm sure there are a whole lot of other meanings.

the thing that i find interesting is how it operates as a performance of identity. it allows the wearer to communicate a whole range of values immediately [one assumes] and non-verbally. the assumption is that the wearer ascribes to these values, of couse [but no necessarily], so it communicates a pretty concentrated blast of meaning and ideology.

on the other hand, it's worth wondering if not wearing one is a performative declaration of non-support for cancer research? it would be as interesting to know why people don't wear them as why people do wear them. it's also worth wondering why it is important for wearers to self-identify as supporters of cancer research, or as people whose lives have been personally affected by cancer. what is the cultural significance?

another thing that i find interesting is how the livestrong band associates group identity. the wearer feels part of something: the cycling cultural scene, cancer research supporters, a community of people afected by cancer. i think a big part of the identity performance is diected towards other members, to assemble ephemeral community experiences. ["oh, i see that you're wearing one, too!"] i've noticed, for example, the insistence of the date that posters started wearing the wristband. are they negotiating authority within the community? defining the authenticity of their commitment: "i was wearing mine befoe it became popular?"

assuming a badge is never a neutral act. people say things about themselves both consciously and unconsciously. what they say is interesting.
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Old 03-17-06, 12:31 PM
  #33  
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I used to wear one until someone asked me, "So...whose your EPO supplier?"
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Old 03-17-06, 12:46 PM
  #34  
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There's a gadget on the market that you use to meet other people with similar interests. You type in your hobbies, likes/dislikes, etc. and when somebody with one of these devices comes within range of you and they have the same inputs, an alarm sounds.

An electronic version of gaydar.

But thinking about it, cyclists don't need such a gadget, the shaved legs, cycling tan, Clif bar with Starbucks Vento are all dead giveaways.
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Old 03-17-06, 01:14 PM
  #35  
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I don't wear the LIVEStrong bracelet because, honestly, it would have been just about the only cancer research support I'd ever make. It simply wouldn't have been a big part of who I am, so I didn't see a reason for me to wear it all the time. Enough people have them, so it's not like it's about 'getting the word out'. I make my token donation to the LAF every November for the CFC (government charity drive), but other than that, I'm not a big cancer research person.

I do, however, give a lot of blood to the red cross. I wear a red 'giveBLOOD' bracelet, because I consider it a big part of who I am. I've been wearing it for about two years now. Usually people will ask me, "red... what does that one stand for?" At first, I simply said, "giveblood. I got it for donating with the red cross". Inevitably, I'd get the responses such as "Oh, like those lance armstrong bracelets?" or "isn't that kind of riding on the coat tails of those yellow lance armstrong ones?". Well, they are, but I don't really see it as a necessarily bad thing. Now, when/if I'm asked, I usually head those questions off by responding with, "I got it from the red cross for donating blood. You should schedule yourself to donate sometime too. It doesn't take much time, and it could really help other people out..." I've yet to get any comments about the band when I put it that way.

In a couple of more years, I expect it's not going to be a big deal in any case. There will be a new ribbon/bracelet/armband/lapell pin/whatever that will have become the banner for whichever charity. Some of us will still be wearing wrist bands, others of us won't. It is a fad, regardless of your intentions, and eventually it will pass.
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Old 03-17-06, 01:50 PM
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I got mine in '04 at a Livestrong ride. I feel I can't put mine on as long as I run the risk of cancer by not putting down a nasty habit. I don't want to be a hypocrite. I hope to wear it one day, guilt free, soon.

Ride on!
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Old 03-17-06, 01:57 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Mose
I take it a lot of the posters wear one here, I mean, common thing for cyclists.

I first started wearing my LIVESTRONG band during the '04 TdF when they first went on sale. I actually bought ten, handed three out to each of my team members for a 24 hr mtb race later that summer, on to my mother, a couple to other friends, and I kept one back up for me, which I actually ended up using it when the first one broke.

When I first started wearing it, comments on it ranged from, shortly after the Tour, "So did you go to a concert/club last night" or "that's a wierd looking rubber band".

A few months after the Tour, esp when Kerry started wearing one I got a lot of "That's so trendy" and "you know, then those first were out, only the hardcore bikers/LA fans were wearing them" and strangely... "I didn't think you were a Democrat/liberal" ...?

Then when all these charities and other causes copied the idea I got a "Oh, yellow, what is that one for?" or "ooh, don't tell me, another wristband".

Then about a year later, or last summer I got a lot of "you're still wearing that LA band?".

And apparently a few months after they started making them they changed suppliers (found cheaper child labor in China or something) so my "early" band became special somehow.


And to think, to garner all this attention all I had to do was buy a $1 yellow wristband because I liked the guy and I liked the cause and wear it. And just not take it off. That's a helluva rate of return.

I'm still wearing it, btw.

Anyone else experience anything like this?
I started a thread last year expressing my encounters with the increasing legions of pretentious *******s
donning the Nike$trong bracelets last year. Wide range of responses to my rant.

Now there's a friggin' bracelet for every two-bit cause in the world out there now...it's become kind of silly now.
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Old 03-17-06, 02:02 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Hipcycler
I still wear that original one, and am surprised at how well it has held up actually. Those things are pretty tough.
Great! now the environmentalists are gonna get PO'd
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Old 03-17-06, 02:14 PM
  #39  
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I don't wear the LAF bracelet as part of any poser ritual. Frankly it's a very poor fashion accessory. I do it to support cancer awareness, research and because my wife is a cancer survivor. And to remind me of what's important in life. Which does NOT include what strangers (some of the idiots on this Forum included by the way) think of me.

I'll continue to wear mine for the forseeable future. Particularly on the bike.
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Old 03-17-06, 02:18 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by gurana
I don't wear the LIVEStrong bracelet because, honestly, it would have been just about the only cancer research support I'd ever make. It simply wouldn't have been a big part of who I am, so I didn't see a reason for me to wear it all the time. Enough people have them, so it's not like it's about 'getting the word out'. I make my token donation to the LAF every November for the CFC (government charity drive), but other than that, I'm not a big cancer research person.

I do, however, give a lot of blood to the red cross. I wear a red 'giveBLOOD' bracelet, because I consider it a big part of who I am. I've been wearing it for about two years now. Usually people will ask me, "red... what does that one stand for?" At first, I simply said, "giveblood. I got it for donating with the red cross". Inevitably, I'd get the responses such as "Oh, like those lance armstrong bracelets?" or "isn't that kind of riding on the coat tails of those yellow lance armstrong ones?". Well, they are, but I don't really see it as a necessarily bad thing. Now, when/if I'm asked, I usually head those questions off by responding with, "I got it from the red cross for donating blood. You should schedule yourself to donate sometime too. It doesn't take much time, and it could really help other people out..." I've yet to get any comments about the band when I put it that way.

In a couple of more years, I expect it's not going to be a big deal in any case. There will be a new ribbon/bracelet/armband/lapell pin/whatever that will have become the banner for whichever charity. Some of us will still be wearing wrist bands, others of us won't. It is a fad, regardless of your intentions, and eventually it will pass.
This may be true in one sense, but on the other hand cancer is not a fad, it's a disease that touches EVERYONE. Including the poster above, sad to say, sooner or later, almost inevitably (look up the statistics, they're scary). And then the whole outlook on LAF bracelets may change again.

We're all bent out of shape about potential terrorist attacks that MIGHT kill more Americans. But cancer IS killing MILLIONS of us each year. Figure that logic out. I can't.
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Old 03-17-06, 02:23 PM
  #41  
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Not the dreaded armband thread again, that little yellow thing is like religion-the root of all evil..
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Old 03-17-06, 03:20 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by patentcad
Which does NOT include what strangers (some of the idiots on this Forum included by the way) think of me.
i'd have to disagree. i don't pretend to be able to read your mind, of course, but why wear a badge if it is not to be seen. if you're sending a message -- to promote cancer awareness, for example -- then you're sending a message to someone, even if it isn't to anyone specific.

what i'm sayong is that these messages are rarely simple. your explicit intention might be to send a mesage about cancer awareness, but why is that your intention, and why do you chose this particular way of sending that message? please understand that i'm not criticizing you, or anyone, for wearing the bracelet; i'm simply observing the complex meanings in it.

another way to look at it is that you might intend a specific message by wearing it, but someone who sees it might receive or impute different messages. there is no direct correspondence between your intention and his/her understanding of the message. someone might see you and think "oh, there's a lance armstrong wannabe." that might not be true to you, but it's true to him.
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Old 03-17-06, 03:32 PM
  #43  
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The strangest place I've seen a LAF yellow wristband was in a ... err, how to put this... adult movie. It looked like one of the "actors" forgot to take it off before starting the scene.
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Old 03-17-06, 03:39 PM
  #44  
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I have had one for a couple of years now. But, where I work (Aerospace industry), we are not allowed to wear them (or any of the "bands"). Since they contain silicone, someone decided (Someone at Boeing) that this could cause contamination with some parts we manufacture. I wear it all weekend, usually because I am on my bike...

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Old 03-17-06, 03:44 PM
  #45  
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I made a $25 contribution on line to the LAF. I thought I was supposed to get a band. After about 6 months I happened to find the email confirmation and sent them a copy via email and asked 'em if I was supposed to get a band. I didn't understand the email they sent in response, so I let it drop. I didn't contribute because of the band, and I think the band was supposed to be a available for a much lower price anyway. What I got was an autoresponder thank you, a credit card statement, and a bunch of junk mail in my postal mail box from then on. A poor experience, but one that is unrelated to the cause for which I made the contribution. I trust Lance and his foundation, I just felt as though they treated my rather cavalierly.
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Old 03-17-06, 03:48 PM
  #46  
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I also got mine when they first came out. Still wear it. If you haven't checked out hie site laf.org you should. He has a great informational book for people w/ cancer. It gives info on things to check and questions to ask your doc. The book is free just need to pay for shipping.
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Old 03-17-06, 04:38 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by patentcad
This may be true in one sense, but on the other hand cancer is not a fad, it's a disease that touches EVERYONE. Including the poster above, sad to say, sooner or later, almost inevitably (look up the statistics, they're scary). And then the whole outlook on LAF bracelets may change again.

We're all bent out of shape about potential terrorist attacks that MIGHT kill more Americans. But cancer IS killing MILLIONS of us each year. Figure that logic out. I can't.

Agreed. Cancer research and support thereof is not a fad (unless of course we someday genuinely cure it). However, the bracelets certainly are. Another poster described it as a cultural phenomenon, and I think that's fair, especially in light of yet another poster's comment drawing a similarity to those 'friendship bracelets'. Similarly, friendship is not really a 'fad' but those bracelets long ago lost their meaning of support for friendship, and now they're just cheesy. People will go on supporting cancer research, ending world hunger, tolerance, and so forth, but eventually there will be a sort of fashion stigma against these silicon wristbands, the original meaning will have long lost its impact, and people will stop wearing them; end of fad. 10 years from now, we'll be watching "I love the 00's" on VH1, and going "OH YEA! those LAF yellow wristbands!!! I had like 10 of the yellow, a couple of red, one for my College, and one camoflage. WTF was I thinking wearing those things?"

of course, 20 years from now, we'll all be wearing yellow LAF wristbands again...
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Old 03-17-06, 05:15 PM
  #48  
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no but i do still wear 2 on my wrist.
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Old 03-17-06, 07:29 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Hipcycler
I still wear that original one, and am surprised at how well it has held up actually. Those things are pretty tough.
Really? I've had the opposite experience. I keep snapping mine. Usually they'll snap at the embossing. I don't really mind paying for new ones every other month or so. I guess that's one way they keep the donations rolling in.
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Old 03-17-06, 07:33 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Don Cook
But, I've always considered that people that wear the wrist bands are equivalant me taking any of my various charity donation receipts, and then pinning them to my shirt. Why should I care if other people are aware of my charitable donations.
I have a different take on it. I don't wear mine all the time but when I do and someone asks me about it, I'll feel obliged to explain what it's for and encourage them to go check it out. Thus the wristbands become a form of cause promotion and I think that was the original intent. I guess one of the reasons I don't wear mine as often is because since these bands (of all types) have become so popular/trendy, people have actually stopped asking me what it's all about so their usefullness is somewhat diminished.
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