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Livestrong: Oklahoman writers share their stories

WHAT LIVESTRONG MEANS TO YOU NOW — Two Oklahoman writers share their stories of wearing the Livestrong bracelet.
by Ryan Aber Published: January 20, 2013
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It also doesn't take away from the job the Livestrong Foundation has done in offering support for those suffering with cancer.

OSU writer Gina Mizell

I usually only wore my yellow Livestrong bracelet for three-minute increments during my junior year of high school.

But in those short spurts, I tried to project my love and support to the back of packed auditoriums.

My longtime dance teacher, Mario Velez, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2005. Doctors caught it early, so his prognosis was good, but he left the studio and his students to undergo chemotherapy that spring.

Over the next several weeks, we sent cards and positive thoughts and prayers. But for our end-of-the-year recital, I wore the yellow bracelet as my display of public support whenever I performed a number he had choreographed.

Mario was well enough to attend our last performance, and I'll never forget the moment he was brought on stage for our final bow. He's been cancer-free since that fall, and now owns his own dance studio in Phoenix.

Lance Armstrong's admission of doping doesn't surprise me. And his lying and bullying makes him downright unlikeable. Would I wear a yellow bracelet today? Probably not.

But my yellow bracelet in 2005 was about Mario, not Lance.