It’s often been said that the perfect accessory can turn a mediocre look into a stunning one. Accessories have always been about making a statement. Lance Armstrong, the person behind the origins of the ubiquitous rubber awareness bracelet, took this idea to heart.
A Texas native, he began his sporting career as a swimmer, then as a tri-athlete. He eventually focused on bicycle racing, as it was evident that this was his greatest strength. He went on to accumulate countless accolades, including the UCI Road World Championship. He was one of the youngest riders to ever win the award.
At the age of twenty-five, he was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer. It eventually spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain. He went through all the requisite treatments—surgery, medication to help with survival and recovery, chemotherapy—and as a result, despite a bleak prognosis, his cancer went into remission. Not one to stay still even after such an experience, he made history by winning the Tour de France a grand total of seven consecutive times.
He founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation. In 2004, in cooperation with Nike, it launched the yellow rubber Live Strong bracelets as part of their program to raise funds for cancer research and cancer awareness. The wristband sold for a dollar each and to date, more than 80 million bracelets have been sold worldwide—a testament to the success of the rubber bracelet marketing method.
The bracelets are literally about making a statement. They are worn by survivors, by their families, by the countless supporters and advocates of cancer awareness. The moment a person sees a yellow rubber bracelet on their wrists, the message is clear.
The cancer awareness bracelet has been used by various other charities and organizations to their advantage, following the success of the LiveStrong bracelets. They come in a variety of colors and statements. One of the more popular colors is pink for breast cancer.
These bracelets are cheap to make and are hip and stylish, a fact which makes them appealing to the younger generations. More importantly, wearing the bracelets serve as a constant reminder to people that cancer can and should be fought through proper care and by educating the people. It is a testament to those who refuse to succumb to illness, to those who go on to live happy lives despite the disease. It is a testament to those who have succeeded in combating it, a sign of love and of support given to those who need and deserve it.
Cancer awareness and cancer research are important. It is only by educating not only those who suffer from cancer but also their families, friends and loved ones that a collective effort can be made to help ease the effects of the illness. Cancer awareness bracelets are a simple way of showing support and of contributing to a cause that aims to ensure that people unfortunate enough to contract cancer go on to live good and happy lives.