CREATED Jan. 15, 2013
Reporter: Liz Kotalik
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - For Linda Tarason, Lance Armstrong is more than the controversy surrounding him.
"When I was diagnosed with my second cancer," she said, "I went to a Livestrong assembly and I got so much support."
She's been volunteering with the organization since, and has seen the incredible impact Livestrong has had.
"In the past year, we've raised more money than we ever have before with a lot of controversy going on."
A lot of controversy that has people questioning what Livestrong really stands for, which is something Linda takes very personally.
"That has to do with the bicycle community, we're dealing with cancer here."
One member of the bicycle community, Gustavo Amado with Sabino Cycles
, couldn't agree more.
"He's done a lot of good things for charity," Gustavo said, "and I think that's what cyclists recognize him most for."
Despite Armstrong admitting to Oprah that he was doping throughout his career, Gustavo says he has inspired both cancer patients and bikers alike to push forward and ride on.
"I always viewed him as a hero. Watching him train pushed me to train harder. And I know he influenced a lot more people than he disappointed."
But Armstrong's admonition is serious. Gustavo says doping amongst cyclists is a huge problem not to be taken lightly.
"I think that it's okay to let him go as a cyclist," Gustavo says. "There's new faces that are approaching, and we're all going to be looking for a new hero."
Until then, what Armstrong began both on his bike and in the community others will have to continue.
"The point is there'd be no Livestrong if it weren't for Lance," Linda says.
And for that, Gustavo agrees, "Go Lance."