Armstrong's Inspiration to A Local Woman

February 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
When Lance Armstrong crosses the finish line in Clovis Wednesday afternoon, a Fresno woman will see firsthand the man that has been her inspiration to "live strong"... Armstrong's motto since beating cancer. 48 year old Lauren Jacquez has almost every t-shirt and picture of Lance Armstrong ever produced.... She began following the 36 year old biker during his rise to fame in the early nineties. She read about his valiant fight with testicular cancer in 1996. And then watched him come back to cycling and conquer the competition in the Tour De France... Not once, but seven times.

Lauren Jacquez even had his picture posted on the wall of her classroom at Edison High School. It was that picture that gave this high school coach and teacher her first boost after learning she had breast cancer.

Jacquez said, "I remember getting a call in between passing periods from my radiologist telling me that I had cancer. So my fourth period walked in and I was just crying"

As the teacher explained to her students the journey she was about to take. She pointed to a poster of Armstrong on her wall and promised the teens she would live strong.... Just like Lance.

Jacquez added, " when he went through his diagnosis... and he only had a 20 percent chance of surviving... and it had gone from his testicles to his brain to his lungs... and I had only one spot... i figured if he could do it, I could do it!"

Lauren jacquez did beat breast cancer.... But uterine cancer popped up a year later. Jacquez beat that too. Her husband Arthur said just as Lance Armstrong served as Lauren's inspiration ...Lauren has been an inspiration to hundreds of others.

Arthur Jacquez, Lauren's husband said, " for you to survive.... there must be a reason why.... and when she passes that message along to her students, her friends and everybody watching.... it's just one more person saying "we can beat this!"

Lauren Jacquez has never met Lance Armstrong... And she doesn't know if she ever will..... But if she did, she knows what she would say:

"I would just say Lance I want to thank you for getting me through my experience and you're my survivor brother."

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