Livestrong: Oklahoman writers share their stories
WHAT LIVESTRONG MEANS TO YOU NOW — Two Oklahoman writers share their stories of wearing the Livestrong bracelet.
High School writer Ryan Aber
Not long after my daughter was diagnosed with cancer in 2001, I slipped on a Livestrong bracelet.
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For about two years the band rarely, if ever, came off. I only stopped wearing it when it snapped.
I didn't wear it for Lance Armstrong, though his story helped.
If he could come back from cancer to reach the pinnacle of his sport, Kaylee could beat cancer and live a normal, full life.
That's what the band meant for me.
Kaylee's been cancer-free for more than 10 years.
I wanted to believe Armstrong's story, that he'd become the top cyclist of all time by perseverance and not by using performance-enhancing drugs.
Over the last few years, though, the realization sank in that the chances Armstrong had accomplished his feats clean were slim.
First, it was the flood of other bikers who were caught up in PED scandals.
Then, when person after person who had been around Armstrong accused him of doping and/or covering up his involvement, the chances seemed even more dim.
So Armstrong's recent admission that he was guilty of doping didn't shake me much. It was just an official acknowledgment of something I already knew.
Still, though, that doesn't diminish what the band did for me — and millions of others like me — during a time when I needed a little boost of support, even if that boost came from within myself.