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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view lehoffman1's profile
    Posted October 17, 2012 by
    lehoffman1
    Location
    Stevenson Ranch, California
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Lance Armstrong speaks out

    Devoted to Livestrong

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     iReporter lehoffman1 submitted this close-up photo of his Livestrong bracelet, which he says has endured years of cycling and outdoor events. On the subject of Armstrong's alleged doping, lehoffman1 says, "whether he did or didn't, really isn't the question for me, nor will I see him any differently if he did, because he represents more than just the greatest cyclist the world has ever seen. He represents hope and inspiration for all those individuals and their families who have been affected by cancer."
    - Echerneff, CNN iReport producer

    I've been an avid cyclist for roughly 22 years, about a third of that time dedicated to competitive racing in my early days. It is a sport that I will continue to embrace and intend to share with my four children.

    I lost my father to cancer on 10-2-01, a few short weeks after Sept. 11th. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer two months prior in August after experiencing severe pain in his groin.

    My father's death afforded me the opportunity to look at life in a very different way. That day that I saw him close his eyes for the last time, I knew that I didn't want anyone else to have to go through the same experience that he did.

    I purchased a Livestrong (actually I purchased many of them) as a sign of hope, strength and perseverance against this terrible disease. I also use it as a reminder, when I'm climbing those long lonely steep canyons on the bike, that the pain and suffering that I'm enduring is pittance and short-lived compared to what others are experiencing in their battle against cancer.

    I recently met a friend for lunch that I hadn't seen in roughly two years. He looked at the yellow band, still prominently encircling my wrist and asked, "you still wearing that thing?". My emotions turned on a dime and with a laser-focused stare I responded with "It'll come off when there's a cure for cancer".

    The answer is YES, I still wear the bracelet and always will until this thing is cured. It helps me to maintain focus on what is important.
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