The truth behind my bracelets

Nancy Hall

Letter to the editor:

I would like to begin by saying that I do not think Jeff Blanchet is a jerk in any way. His opinion is extremely justified and in many ways I do agree with him. Why is this important to state right off the bat? I am one of the people sporting the bracelets of which he spoke.

I first got my Live Strong bracelet in the early days of the summer of 2004. One of the supervisors had given it to my father as he returned to work after being gone for over a month. This supervisor had purchased one of the bracelets for every member of the staff as a result of my father.

You see, my father was diagnosed with brain cancer last April and had surgery the day after Easter. He then had to undergo radiation treatments and continues still to take monthly doses of chemotherapy. After missing quite a bit of work, my father returned to find that his staff was more than supportive of his situation. The purchase of the bracelets was just one of many things they did for my dad.

I knew that my father would never wear the bracelet, so I made it my own. I was still at home for the summer and no one in my area had heard of The Lance Armstrong Foundation or the Live Strong bracelets. My bracelet spurred other people to look it up and make donations of their own. I loved the idea of serving as a human billboard for a more than worthy cause.

Upon returning to school in August, I noticed that many of the students were also sporting yellow bracelets. I was overjoyed because I thought that all of these people were also advocating the cause and wanted to spread awareness of the disease.

Too soon, as other colored bracelets began to spring up, I began to realize that a number of individuals did not know what the colors on their wrists stood for. I was disheartened, but I continue to wear mine regardless of what may have become trendy. This is where I agree with Jeff: to wear bracelets so that the world will give you praise is disgraceful, especially when you consider the causes behind the colors.

I feel that the yellow Live Strong bracelet around my wrist serves a few purposes. Personally, it reminds me of my father and what he has to deal with on a daily basis. It also tells me to cherish each day that I am given because to live strong is to be strong, and strength is sometimes all that you may have to make it through the day.

For other people, I hope that it serves as a reminder that this is a cause worthy of everyone’s attention. I do not advertise that I support a cause – I advertise a cause in the hopes that it will one day no longer need advertisement.