As a cancer survivor, I’ve proudly worn a LiveStrong bracelet since they first came out in 2004. I admire the work Lance Armstrong and his foundation have done to raise more funds for cancer research as well give those dealing with cancer a chance to come together as a community, both online and in person. More than 70 million of the wrist bands have been sold. It truly was the start of a movement that has take on a life of its own.
So it’s been with great surprise that during the past year I’ve been asked the same question by many who point at the bracelet and say, “Hey, what is that about?” When I explain what it is and what it means, some people remember what I’m talking about. But a lot seem totally surprised that such a program exists.
While the bracelets probably peaked in popularity back in 2004 or 2005, they are still worn by a lot of people today. Perhaps those who don’t know what they are have been fortunate enough to have never been touched by cancer. At the same time, I have an awareness of a lot of things in our culture (like Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers) that really don’t interest or appeal to me.
And it worries me if they learned about LiveStrong years ago and have since forgotten about it. Has our culture developed such a short attention span that we forget significant branding and slogans in the space of five years? Perhaps what bothers me most is the idea that awareness of cancer as a problem may be fading at a time when it is still affecting countless people.