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the story of an invisible girl
When I was at CSS, the organizers made a donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation and bought LIVESTRONG bracelets for every participant. I liked mine, and I wore it all week at the conference, but I haven't worn it much since (it's kinda big for my puny wrists). When I was packing for ConFusion friday, I mentally associated one conference with the other and grabbed my bracelet. I wore it all weekend.

I was standing in the hotel lobby yesterday chatting with a friend when someone touched my wrist. "I want your yellow bracelet," I heard from behind. Startled, I glanced over my shoulder to see one of the ConCom standing behind me, coveting my LIVESTRONG. "I've been looking, but I can't find them anywhere." My initial reaction was possessiveness. My bracelet! I agreed with him that everybody seems to be sold out these days; they have become very popular.

The other folks around us weren't familiar with the yellow bracelet craze, so he and I explained that they were basically just a symbol of support for cancer victims survivors. The entire purchase price goes to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Lots of the athletes in the Olympics wore them -- it's like wearing a ribbon.

Anyway, the conversation turned, as conversations do. But this evening as I was sitting in the Consuite, listening to people singing and playing music, I studied my bracelet again. I like the message: Live Strong. Sure I liked my bracelet, but I wasn't wearing it much. It sounded like he would probably use it more.

When he reappeared in the suite right before I was leaving, I asked him: "If I give you my yellow band, will you make a donation to your favorite cancer charity?"

"Yeah...!" His face grew serious. "Yes, I definitely will."

"Then it's yours." Just saying the words made me feel good about myself.

It's a stretchy rubber band, but getting it off my wrist was a challenge. I was already wearing my coat and carrying my keys in my left hand. I pulled both gloves off and put them in my left also, so my right hand would be free to pull the bracelet off my left wrist. I don't know why (I wasn't really thinking it through, it's the sort of thing that could happen to anyone), but I tried to pull the bracelet off my wrist, over my hand, over all of my car keys, and over the two furry gloves clenched in my hand. It got stuck on the gloves, and I finally just told him, "Pull."

"Decided to do it the long way, huh?" He managed to pull it over everything in my hand, then stretched it happily onto his own wrist with a big smile.

Then I went back into the music room and stepped to the edge of the circle. Somebody was singing, so I silently waved my hand dramatically over my head to say goodbye to everyone. Not speaking a word, I think almost the entire room returned the gesture, and I stood for an instant in a sea of swaying arms and faces upturned toward me.

It was a beautiful thing.

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ellison From: ellison Date: January 24th, 2005 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
That's a really beautiful story! That's very cool of you to give him your bracelet, and also to inspire him to donate to a charity. This entry made me smile.
hannunvaakuna From: hannunvaakuna Date: January 24th, 2005 05:25 am (UTC) (Link)
anderale From: anderale Date: January 24th, 2005 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Really the bracelets are a symbol of cancer survivors - A symbol of encouragement for people not to be victims, but to overcome that which is seemingly impossible.

I'm glad you were able to give it away, if you need a new one, it will find a way to you. I'm sure he's still smiling as he wears it. :)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 24th, 2005 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's a good point -- not victims, but survivors. Cool. (:
encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: January 24th, 2005 10:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I have several LIVESTOCK bracelets. Easily obtained around Austin since it's the home of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Email me your mailing address. People can ordder them directly from the foundation, minimum order of 10.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 24th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
"livestock"? Your cowboy roots are showing. (:

I noticed on the site that they come in 2 sizes -- do you have any small ones? That I'd probably wear. Mine was really too big to fit right, which made giving it away easier. (I had to wear it over a sleeve so it doesn't fall off.)

encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: January 24th, 2005 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was typing really early this morning. All we've got around here are the regular adult one. We can buy them at several of the local bike shops. I'll check later in the week, my sister is suppose to arrive tomorrow night, so I am a little tight on things this week plus I got a new boss today, so I am having a fun week.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 24th, 2005 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
No prob, it made me smile.

Hey don't worry about it, and definitely don't inconvenience yourself. I am quite comfortable with having given mine away (for a good cause too), so it's no big deal at all.

A new boss - yikes. Hopefully things go okay, and you enjoy your sister's visit!
c0nsumer From: c0nsumer Date: January 24th, 2005 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Livestrong is the new WWJD.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 24th, 2005 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, totally -- only cooler. (because the purchase price goes to cancer charity)
simplykimberly From: simplykimberly Date: January 24th, 2005 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

very cool!

You should send that to wayne and peggy - they'd LOVE to read it :)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 25th, 2005 04:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: very cool!

Hmmm, I started to try, but didn't find an email addy for them on the CSS site. I definitely don't want to send it to the list, that'd be a little excessive. You have my permission to send it to them though; I'm sure you know their addresses.

Glad you enjoyed it!
itsmika From: itsmika Date: January 24th, 2005 09:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
My niece and nephew have them as well as pink for breast cancer awareness, and a couple of others I can't remember. Apparently, it is a big trend in high school. I've noticed some other charities jumping on the band wagon as well.

With the new colors, someone is bound to ask what it's for and you get to make a new person aware of the cause. Quite a good way to spread word-of-mouth on a particular disease, issue, etc.!

You did a good thing - nicely done ;-)
homeless_one From: homeless_one Date: January 25th, 2005 11:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Small Steps

This is one way you change the world. One small conversation at a time.

Well done, girl!
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