Updated 10/22/2012 09:49 AM
LIVESTRONG celebrates 15 years, Armstrong addresses crowd
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A sea of yellow and black flooded Downtown Austin Sunday. As cyclists geared up for the 18, 65 or 100 mile ride, some took a moment to remember the first time they came out for the Team LIVESTRONG Challenge.
"In 98, the second rest stop had no water or food and about the 6th rest stop had run out of water, so they ran a garden house out of someone's front yard, about 100 feet, so people were drinking out of a garden hose," cyclist Michael Razor said.
LIVESTRONG has come a long way since then. Razor says Lance Armstrong and the LIVESTRONG bracelets made the charity famous, but people identify with it because almost everyone has been touched by cancer.
"Since it's so pervasive in our society and there's so many different kinds of cancer, you never know," Razor said.
Cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong founded the organization 15 years ago.
Last week, Armstrong left his post as LIVESTRONG's Chairman after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency detailed the cyclist's repeated drug use. He'll remain on the charity's board of directors.
"Obviously it's been an interesting, and as I said the other night, a difficult few weeks. People ask me a lot, 'how you doing?' And I tell them, well I've been better, but I've also been worse," said Armstrong.
Despite the controversy, the cancer fighting charity hasn't lost much local support. LIVESTRONG hit a fundraising record this weekend. The charity raised more than $4 million.
"I think that people still draw inspiration from Lance as a cancer survivor and it's his hope that they continue to support the foundation," said LIVESTRONG's Vice President of Communications Katherine McLane.
LIVESTRONG has raised half a billion dollars for its cancer fighting efforts. As for its founder, the USADA banned Armstrong from cycling and suggested his Tour de France titles be stripped. Monday morning the International Cycling Union will make its decision.