Why I…Livestrong

…wear a Livestrong band.

Lance Armstrong is an amazing athlete.  After fighting testicular cancer, he came back and won seven (yep, that’s right 7) Tour de Frances.

Like numerous other athletes, Lance Armstrong took advantage of his opportunity to share about something they feel is important (see Baron Davis, Steve Nash, and Dwayne Wade.  Those are just the first ones to come to mind).  As most of you know, Lance Armstrong created the Livestrong foundation in 2004 and consequently launched the Livestrong band in May of 2004.

When the original campaign launched in May of 2004, the goal was to raise $25 million toward cancel research.  That goal was reached in 6 months.  Since May 2004, over 70 million bands have been sold.  With the bands making appearances on Oprah, John Edwards, Katie Couric and many other athletes during the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, the band gained a source of fashion and not just a source of support for the cure of cancer.

I loved the Livestrong bands.  I remember shopping at the mall one afternoon and finally coming across a store that was selling Livestrong bands.  I went outside, asked my mom if I could buy one and did.  I owned something that so many other people have, so many influential people.  What will other people think about me, now that I have a Livestrong band?

Well, it didn’t really change much, until I received an email from a family member directing me to a Celebrity Athesist site.  On this site, it listed quotes from his book that showed his apparent distrust in God.  Read a few of the quotes below.

I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn’t pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsiblity to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn’t a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whther I believed in a certain book, or whether I’d been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn’t say, “But you were never a Christian, so you’re going the other way from heaven.” If so, I was going to reply, “You know what? You’re right. Fine.”

-From Lance Armstrong’s book It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life, published by G.P Putnam’s Sons 2000.

pp. 116-118 via Celebrity Atheist

After I read that, I was shocked.  Here was a man, who so many looked to as an inspiration and hope in their fight against cancer saying that he was fine going the other way from God.  Instantly, I took off the bandage and threw it in the trash, never to really think about it again.

Until…

…my grandma passed away.  After a 4 year fight with lung cancer and a multiple year fight with Alzheimer’s, my grandma passed away roughly one year ago.  Both have made giant steps toward being solved in the past year…

…Then, a few weeks ago, Bekah and I were shopping in the mall when we entered shoe store.  I saw the bands and instantly thought about grandma.  So I bought one.

After I bought one, I was reminded by my mother about Lance Armstrong’s lack of belief toward God.

That got me thinking about a few questions:

1. Does cancer care if you are a Christian or not?

2. Does cancer look for your views on God?

3. Are all of the items we buy only from those who profess a faith in Jesus Christ?

My answers…

1. Does cancer care if you are a Christian or not?

A. Nope, not at all.  There are plenty of occurrences in our church (DGBC) of people who have fought cancer.

2. Does cancer look for your views on God?

A. Nope.  Plenty of people that profess faith and those that don’t have had cancer.

3. Are all of the items we buy only from those who profess a faith in Jesus Christ?

A. Nope.  In our house, we have plenty of items that were not bought by those who profess faith and I imagine it’s the same in yours.

Do I agree with Lance Armstrong’s views on God.

Absolutely not!

I believe that the true source behind Lance’s hope is Jesus Christ.  I believe Jesus healed Lance for a reason.  I hope and pray that Lance Armstrong will find that hope in Jesus.

Would you pray that he sees hope found only in Jesus Christ?

Do I agree the purpose behind the Livestrong band?

Absolutely!

With losing a grandmother and knowing of multiple people in our church family who suffer from (or have suffered from) cancer, it hits close to home.

For me now, the Livestrong band is no longer a fashion statement.

For me now, the Livestrong band is just a little way to remember my grandma.

I wear it all the time.  At work.  At home.  At school.  At church.  In the shower.  I see it and it reminds me of my grandma.

And you can do the same for someone in your life who has fought (or is fighting) cancer.  You can wear it on your wrist and remember those close to you.

Will you join me in wearing a Livestrong band?

Buy a band.  Remember those you love.  Save a life.

Buy your Livestrong band today.

Buy Livestrong.

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About Zach Younkin

I'm currently enrolled at Western Governors University, pursuing my degree in Accounting. I'm hoping that this blog provides you with some encouragement to be what God has promised you. This blog collects dust, which is unfortunate. Keep your eyes open for some sporadic blog posts. I spend more time on Twitter, so go follow me there. @zachyounkin
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16 Responses to Why I…Livestrong

  1. Pingback: ezineaerticles » Blog Archive » Why I…Livestrong « Life of Younkin

  2. gardenax says:

    Wow, I have a wristband that’s blue and says battlegrounds.

  3. gardenax says:

    I don’t have permission though, so I guess not.

  4. zachyounkin says:

    @gardenax What do you mean you don’t have permission?

  5. Murlcrild says:

    I think you are thinking like sukrat, but I think you should cover the other side of the topic in the post too…

  6. I am unable to understand this post. But well some points are useful for me.

  7. zachyounkin says:

    What exactly can’t you understand?

  8. zachyounkin says:

    What do you mean you don’t have permission?

  9. zachyounkin says:

    What does that stand for?

  10. Rhiesa says:

    Wouldn’t it be better to just donate money to charity and pick up a rock or something to remind yourself of your grandmother? It would certainly let the money go further as well as reducing pollution.

    Plus that way you wouldn’t have to belittle the personal strength of a great person by deferring all of their achievements in life to a mythical god figure.

  11. zachyounkin says:

    Rhiesa,

    As much as I agree with allowing my money to go further, there is nothing else that would remind me of my grandmother (especially not a rock).

  12. Pingback: Some Reminders « Life of Younkin

  13. Brooke says:

    He's actually not an atheist. That site has been sent to us on numerous occasions. Just not true. Just thought I'd share. If you ever want to hear an amazing story about the cross around his neck, read the new book Lance 2.0. It made me tear up.

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