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Cancer survivor/Livestrong volunteer Jerry Burnstein can't wear the bracelet right now

WHAT LIVESTRONG MEANS TO YOU NOW — For now, the yellow bracelet stays off. And all those Lance Armstrong monuments on Burnstein's wall — the autographed jersey, poster and Sports Illustrated cover — are coming down.
by Berry Tramel Modified: January 20, 2013 at 11:00 pm •  Published: January 20, 2013
/articleid/3747803/1/pictures/1932541">Photo - Lance Armstrong and Jerry Burnstein riding together in a Livestrong event. PHOTO PROVIDED <strong></strong>
Lance Armstrong and Jerry Burnstein riding together in a Livestrong event. PHOTO PROVIDED

“You just wanted to believe him,” Burnstein said. “He overcame the odds. He's a cancer survivor. He was the heart and soul of the (Livestrong) organization. He was what the yellow wrist band was all about.”

Burnstein still feels mixed emotions. Calls it Jekyll and Hyde. Burnstein's disappointment over Armstrong conflicts with all the good he knows Livestrong has done and still could do.

“I'm torn,” Burnstein said. “It's one of those time things. I think I'm willing to forgive and forget. Just going to take a lot of time for me.

“The way he stepped on people. Defiantly denied it. Rubs me the wrong way.”

Burnstein was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2005 and underwent surgery on his nose. He became involved with Livestrong and now receives regular invitations to Austin for Livestrong events and workshops.

That's why Burnstein says he might some day again wear the yellow wristband.

“I think I can do it,” he said. “I just gotta get over it. It's not about him. It's about the 28 million people around the world living with cancer. For all the bad he's done and disappointment he's caused, he's raised a heck of an organization to help a lot of people.”

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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