Boarding for Breast Cancer

The day dawned sunny, hot, and humid: a typical Jersey August morning. I grabbed water, sunscreen and a bandana, the three things I could not be without this summer. As I drove to my destination, I reminisced that it had been a few years since I’d been to a Warped Tour. This time it was different though, if I could make a difference in one person’s life it would be worth it.

I wasn’t going to see my favorite bands, but was signed up to volunteer at the Boarding for Breast Cancer booth. I met up with Jen, B4BC’s girl on the road, who had been on tour throughout the summer. We talked about ourselves, her experiences on the road with the tour, and how many people are affected by breast cancer every year. Jen showed me a book she kept of survivors and their families who she’d met along the way. Reading it brought tears to my eyes as I read each person’s story.

I turned to a new page and began to write my own story, because in March, I too had been diagnosed with breast cancer. A complete shock, as there was no one in my family with the disease and I had always considered myself a healthy person. I was thrown into a scary new world of doctors, hospitals, tests and surgeries.

By the time the Warped Tour came along I was more than halfway through chemo and looking forward to the end of treatment. Along the way, I found a strength I didn’t know I had, made some new friends, and was overwhelmed by the love and support of my family, friends and even some complete strangers.

Founded in 1996 by snowboarders Shannon Dunn, Tina Basich and their friends, B4BC’s mission is to teach awareness of the disease to young men and women and why early detection and a healthy, active lifestyle is so important. Unfortunately breast cancer not only affects middle-aged women but women in their 20’s and 30’s as well. Although less common, men can also get the disease.

This is the message we tried to convey as Jen and I handed out breast self-exam shower cards, taught early detection techniques, promoted self-awareness and collected donations. Two other volunteers, Krista and her friend Kristen joined us at the booth. Krista was already a pro at teaching self-exams having volunteered earlier that week on the tour. Her infectious smile and favorite line, “Have you checked your boobies?!” got everyone’s attention.

Despite the seriousness of our message, we had a great time laughing, talking to people and enjoying the sights and sounds of the tour. By the end of the day, I knew I’d be back to help out again sometime. Jelly Molds With the summer winding down and thoughts of the snowboarding season ahead, I was looking forward to my own recovery and the opportunity to participate at one of B4BC’s upcoming winter events.

For more information on breast cancer and early detection, or how you can help in the fight against breast cancer, see B4BC’s website at

Posted by diane on 02/10/07

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