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Written on 7:36 PM by yahoo

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Last month at the Amgen Tour of California, Lance rode in his first multi-stage race in the United States since his return to professional cycling, and thousands of LIVESTRONG supporters came out. They wrote messages in yellow chalk, they cheered Lance and the riders on and some made an even bigger impact.

Inspired by her brother Matthew Maroot, who was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic lymphoma, Michelle Maroot Diebert joined with another family who had also lost a loved one to leukemia. This is her story.

“We attended the LIVESTRONG Summit in 2008 and we were inspired to come home and start an army in our community. We made contact with the director of the Central California Blood Center and began attending blood drives and local events. We began slowly and then we heard that the Tour of California was coming to town and our army took off! Out of our partnership with the blood center, ‘LIVESTRONG Alley’ was born for the Tour of California. Together we were able to generate 1,500 blood donors in one week and inspire more community members to join our local army. My involvement with the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) has given me an outlet to turn my sorrow into hope, which is exactly what Matthew would want me to do. I am impressed with what LAF has been able to accomplish and I am proud to be part of the cure which will someday be a reality.”

Michelle Maroot Diebert, LIVESTRONG Army Captain from Fresno/Clovis, CA

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