Fresno Woman Meets her "Live Strong" Hero

February 19, 2009 12:47:42 AM PST
When the Amgen tour rolled into Clovis Wednesday afternoon, a Fresno woman realized a long-time dream. Lauren Jacquez beat cancer twice and looks to fellow cancer survivor Lance Armstrong as her inspiration. Wednesday, Jacquez came face to face with her hero.When Lauren Jacquez heard Lance Armstrong was coming to California, she immediately scheduled time off of work at Fresno's Edison High School to catch a glimpse of the man who's been her inspiration.

Lauren Jacquez has been an Armstrong fan for years- collecting nearly every picture and t-shirt ever produced. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago, it was the image of Armstrong that carried her through. She says, "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. I had only one spot. I figured if he could do it, I could do it."

Action News told of Lauren's battle with not only breast cancer but uterine cancer in a story that aired Monday. Armstrong saw the story and wanted to meet her. So after he rolled through the finish line in Clovis, Lauren and her husband Arthur Jacquez were waiting by Armstrong's bus, to meet the man who's been Lauren's inspiration to 'live strong." Said Lauren, "He actually said he saw my piece on the news and he said congratulations and good luck. It was so exciting meeting my hero. I don't know I'm just so excited!"

Armstrong signed Lauren's hat, and a poster but it was the personal touch from Armstrong that meant so much. Lauren said, "It really seemed like he cared about my well-being. In that short moment, it really meant a lot."

Lauren Jacquez is a teacher and coach at Fresno's Edison High School. When she goes to school tomorrow she will have a lot to tell her students.

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