The Austin Chronicle

Millions of Wrists

By Rita Radostitz, October 15, 2004, News

You see them all over the place – bright yellow wristbands embossed with the words "Live Strong." Lance wears his all the time. So does Sen. John Kerry (a survivor of prostate cancer) and his running mate Sen. John Edwards. President George W. Bush has also been known to sport the wristband, as has former President Bill Clinton. The yellow band is also to be the latest fashion accessory for the Hollywood crowd – including Robin Williams, Sandra Bullock, Ellen DeGeneres, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Bruce Willis, Angelina Jolie, Lindsay Lohan, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Alec Baldwin. Many musicians also wear the wristband – of course Armstrong squeeze Sheryl Crow, and also Bono, Shawn Colvin, and the members of the Dave Matthews Band.

According to the Web site, the purpose of the wristbands is to "show your support for survivors living strong." The idea of the wristband came from Scott MacEachern, Armstrong's good friend at Nike. According to Bill Cass at Nike, "There are a few folks taking credit for [the wristband], but I would put that patch on Scott's boy scout sash." Nike agreed to produce and sell the wristbands, with all proceeds going to the LAF. The initial commitment was for 5 million wristbands – but as of last week, 15 million had been sold, and the back-order list is weeks long. "Obviously, we are very, very pleased with the success of the wristbands," says MacEachern. "They are everywhere."

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