By  on May 14, 2008

Yellow is a leading color this spring, but Ralph Lauren, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Lance Armstrong were wearing it as a symbolic pledge to fight cancer.

The trio and several hundred supporters marked the fifth anniversary of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention Tuesday in Harlem's Marcus Harvey Park, and kicked off Livestrong Day 2008, a one-day nationwide initiative led by the champion cyclist's Lance Armstrong Foundation. The dress code wasn't lost on the mayor, who wore a yellow tie and Livestrong bracelet.

Lauren, whose Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. provided the seed money for the center, said, "This is not about money. This is about your soul. This is about life."

The objective is saving lives, which the center has done and will continue to do, Lauren said. The facility has helped 10,000 patients and handled more than 36,000 visits for screenings, diagnosis and treatment.

Armstrong, whose frenetic schedule involved stops in Columbus, Ohio; Denver, and Las Vegas in addition to New York, said cancer is "unlike any war we have fought, waged or funded.

Harold Freeman, M.D., the center's president and founder, and Harold Varmus, M.D., the center's chief executive officer, who is also president and ceo of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a Nobel laureate for his work on the genetic basis of cancer, were among those attending. Armstrong, who described Freeman as an "idol," gave him a Tour de France yellow jersey to hang on a wall at the center.

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