October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes. With these odds, cancer, in one way or another, will likely touch the homes of all those reading this article. My home has certainly not been exempt from these statistics.
Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 56, my mother fought through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Then, just 3 years ago, I underwent surgery to have a mass of breast tissue removed, after receiving abnormal mammogram and biopsy results. Surgery left me with permanent nerve damage to my right arm, and emotional scars that will sit with me for years to come.
As I struggle to overcome these stresses, I turn to one of my favorite pastimes … fly-fishing. There is something cathartic and calming about being on the water with rod in hand. The tranquility and peace found while fishing is unmatched by any other outdoor activity I have pursued.
Mystic Sapphyre rods
Recently, in my fly-fishing adventures, I became familiar with the Mystic Sapphyre Series of fly rods. The Sapphyre rod is manufactured to be a more ergonomically fit for female anglers. The fast-action rod’s custom grip is specifically designed to be more comfortable for petite hands. This fact is not lost to me, as I noticed how much less strain I felt in my hand after hours of casting, and how well balanced the rod is compared to my old tried-and-true options. What also sets the Sapphyre Series apart from the typical unisex fly rod is its stunning holographic sapphire blue blank with violet wraps and silver trim bands. The rod is a work of art that comes alive in the sunlight.
Casting for Recovery
I’m not alone in my use of fly-fishing as a therapeutic measure to overcome the stresses of life. Many women turn to Casting for Recovery as they struggle to regain control of their lives during and after cancer treatment. Casting for Recovery is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the following mission, “To enhance the quality of life of women with breast cancer through a unique program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. The retreats (sponsored by Casting for Recovery) offer opportunities for women to find inspiration, discover renewed energy for life and experience healing connections with other women and nature. CfR’s retreats are open to breast cancer survivors of all ages, in all stages of treatment and recovery, and are free to participants.”
Casting for Recovery offers free casting retreats across the nation. Find a retreat near you.
Below are a few of my favorite outdoor brands supporting Casting for Recovery, as well as other cancer awareness, research and support groups:
Tight Lines Jewelry
Earlier this year I reviewed the jewelry line produced by Tight Lines Jewelry. Tight Lines Jewelry has since introduced its “Casting for Recovery”Fly Reel Pendant. Made of quality stainless steel and baked pink enamel, the pink ribbon fly reel pendants are available in various length and chain options. Tight Lines Jewelry will donate $5 from each purchase of the “Casting for Recovery” Fly Reel Pendant to the Casting for Recovery Program.
This beautiful necklace can be purchased directly from Tight Lines Jewelry’s online store. MSRP: $60 to 75, depending on chain length and style.
Victory Archery offers its VAP and VForce carbon arrows in a unique pink-shaft design. The Victory Pink Arrow line also includes the Pink Bolt arrow for crossbows. Victory Archery has teamed with the Pink Arrow Project to see that a portion of all sales from the Pink Arrow line go directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Victory Pink Arrows are available from retailers nationwide. Find the retailer nearest you. Prices vary, depending on quantity and specifications.
Alpen Optics created its Pink Series Binoculars to specifically help focus on prevention and finding a cure for cancer. The Pink Series Binoculars include both the compact 8×25 Alpen Pink 263P and the full frame 10×42 Alpen Pink 393P. A percentage of all purchases from the Pink Series binocular line is donated to City of Hope. As of 2014, Alpen has donated more than $27,000.
On October 1, 2014, YETI Coolers introduced pink coolers to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. These limited edition coolers will be available in both the Roadie 20 and Tundra 45 series. Be sure to read my review of the YETI Tundra cooler.
”We hope the pink coolers will appeal to a female audience and we also believe at least some of our male consumers are man-enough to pull it off. Yes, that is a challenge,” said Roy Seiders, President of YETI Coolers. To support breast cancer awareness, YETI will also be making a donation to the American Cancer Society.
The pink Roadie 20 and Tundra 45 will be available from YETI’s online store, as well as from select retailers nationwide. MSRP: $249.99 to $349.99.
Oakley offers the Polarized LBD Breast Cancer Awareness Edition sunglasses for outdoorswomen. The retro-glam LBD sunglasses boast Unobtainium nose and ear pads that increase grip when you perspire. These sunglasses are the perfect combination of style and function for active women. Better yet, $20 of each purchase is donated to the Young Survival Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to critical issues affecting young women with breast cancer.
These special edition sunglasses are available directly from Oakley’s online store. MSRP: $180.
What’s your favorite company supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Please share with us, in the comments below.
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