It’s October and it seems like everything is pink. Why? Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
So, this month Island Water Sports has also gone pink to help our community realize the importance of education, early detection and screenings, and the need to keep fighting for a cure. Over the past, almost 40 years, IWS has been a big part of supporting those in our community fighting through things like breast cancer.
Meet Louis & Charles: Friend of IWS
Louisa and Charles met 13 years ago in Church were Charles worked. They now have been happily married for 11 years, with two lovely daughters, Leila is 7 years old and Ane’ is 4 years old. In 2014 Louisa felt a lump under her left arm. We thought it was a milk gland because she was breastfeeding our 8 month old girl at the time. It turned out that it was breast cancer. It was a shock for both of us and immediately we were cast into this world of cancer and oncologists, medical research and opinions. Something that has always been “out there” arrived at our doorstep. We believed at that time that the Lord can heal and prayed over Louisa. After 6 rounds of chemo, she was cancer free! We thanked God and believed that chapter of our lives was over. Louisa was clean for a whole year before she felt a little lump under her collar-bone. We had it checked out and was devastated that the cancer came back. After much prayer, they decided to seek alternative cancer therapy.
“We decided on a clinic in South Africa and launched a fundraising campaign ( www.louisafundraisinginitiative.com) to raise the funds we needed for her 3 month treatment. It was blessed by the Lord and we had enough money to do the treatment. We saw the body of Christ provide in amazing ways throughout this process. On the road trip from Cape Town to Parys I felt like God told me, “the plans I have for you is not to harm but to prosper, to give you a future and a hope”. I was greatly encouraged by this.”
It has been a challenging journey for Louisa whose health was deteriorating quickly. But, through the prayer and support of their community and the protocol of this doctor, Louisa started to feel better. Slowly she had more energy, was less nauseous. Her appetite was also returning. Within 3.5 weeks Louisa dropped from 75mg morphine patches to zero. She got rid of the crutches and started walking around on just her own two legs, still limping a bit. It was an amazing turnaround of events. It has been a miracle. Louisa has gained 5 kg and all the lumps on her chest is getting smaller and smaller. She is starting to get feeling back in the left side of her body and her lung capacity is increasing again.
Louisa shared, “When the doctors said I only have a couple of weeks to live, I just knew I had a choice….was I going to believe the doctor’s report, or was I going to believe God’s promises, and what He has spoken over me….I know today that if I believed the doctors, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Louisa is still battling cancer but believes the Lord has a plan in all this. He has already done miracles.
So many we love have fought this battle. Would you join us in sharing your story with others and supporting those in the Action Sport industry helping those through the fight? Share your story in the comments below.
Organizations Supporting the Fight Against Breast Cancer in the Action Sports Industry
Boarding for Breast Cancer
Boarding for Breast Cancer advocates early detection and a healthy, active, and sustainable lifestyle as the best means for breast cancer prevention. Founded in 1996, B4BC empowers young people to make positive choices that promote lifelong wellness through outreach, prevention, sustainability, and support programs.
B4BC aims to eliminate breast cancer deaths in present and future generations by arming young people with the tools necessary to reduce their risks and lead longer, healthier, and more sustainable lives.
They are on the road nearly 10 months out of the year at various surf, skate and snow events, mountain resorts, music festivals, colleges, and more with the simple message that Early Detection + Healthy, Active Lifestyle = Best Prevention.
They provide one-on-one peer education and preventative information to hundreds of thousands of young people. Through the use of jelly breast molds, people of all ages are encouraged to learn how to do breast self-exams and discover what a potentially cancerous lump feels like. They also hope to inspire with our preventive information and suggestions for 8 Steps to Stomp Cancer. LEARN MORE.
Keep a Breast Foundation
Keep a Breast Foundation never set out to change the world. It was essentially a effort to build community around a friend who was diagnosed. Shaney Jo Darden was a designer in the skateboard industry when, her friend and a fellow artist, Margaret Kilgallen was diagnosed with breast cancer. She knew she wanted to do something to support her and other young women facing the fight. Shaney Jo said she knew, “Skateboarding was more of a creative scene than an industry”, and she knew that it was the artists, designers, and community members that drove skateboarding’s evolution. for her is was “a natural breeding ground for awareness and communication.” So, she grabed some friends and organized a series of organic art and fashion events with those in the Action Sports community. The response was so great that so many wanted to be part of the movement.
Art, Skateboarding & Awareness
Shey Jo said, “The result was Keep A Breast, a unique art concept developed by Shaney jo and Mona to capture and communicate the physical and emotional challenges of breast cancer. KAB created a series of customized breast casts. And, in 2000, the first breast casts were officially showcased in an exhibition called Keep A Breast. It featured casts of pro female snowboarders, painted by artists such as Shepard Fairey and Ed Templeton. This signaled a shift toward an arts-oriented breast cancer awareness organization with a new mantra: Art. Education. Awareness. Action.”
Since, Keep A Breast shows have been organized across the U.S. and throughout Europe. After each show, these casts are auctioned. Proceeds from each auction is directed to breast cancer charities. Not only are they contributing to a cure, but they are also increasing education. The involvement of the Action Sports community has helped bring awareness to a younger generation. Furthermore, KAB have developed a series of educational programs to help young women learn about early detection. LEARN MORE.
Grind for Life
Grind For Life, Inc was founded in 2003, by life-long skateboarder Mike Rogers, after his second battle with sarcoma cancer. He beat cancer once as a pre-teen, and again 25 years later. Mike beat the odds and is a competitive skateboarder again. As a result, Mike was spurred to start Grind for Life.
In 2005, I was diagnosed with a rare breast tumor. Grind for Life provided much needed support during this time. GFL assisted with travel expenses to Moffitt Cancer Center for surgeries. Furthermore, Mike was a great sounding board for questions my husband and I had. They answered questions, calmed our fears, and encouraged us to face this head on. Today, we are blessed to continue to call Mike Rogers a friend and support what he does.
You can also get involved. Grind for Life is now working on it’s next project. They are building a Wellness Center for other recovering from cancer. Head to their website to find out more.
Companies Making A Difference
Island Water Sports is happy to partner with companies like 4Ocean, Yeti, Lokai, and O’Neill who are giving back to help find a cure. You can show your support by going pink. Here are some of our favorites that are available in store and online now:
Shop 4Ocean – Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Shop Yeti – Breast Cancer Awareness Month