Diving for a good cause

Divetech is going pink.

That’s the color associated with breast cancer awareness, and it will take center stage in a special fundraising event next month called Dive for the Cause.

“One of our staff members is a cancer survivor, and she is the main reason that we started the event,” said Divetech’s Emma Nicholsby. “It’s a fun day – and we all get to wear as much pink as possible.”

On Sunday, Oct. 6, the dive shop is offering shore dives from its two locations in West Bay – Lighthouse Point and Cobalt Coast – where participants receive air tanks, weights and a ‘Divers Against Cancer’ T-shirt for a minimum donation of $25.

Prizes will be awarded to participating male or female divers who turn up in their bra (or someone else’s) – or wearing something pink. Pink-themed snacks and refreshments will be provided, with last year’s pink cupcakes a big hit.

Around 35 divers participated in the inaugural event last year, raising $2,000 for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.

“It all stays on island,” said Jo Mikutowicz, one of the main organizers of the event. “I’ve previously had [skin] cancer, and wanted to do something to help. We’re expecting a larger turnout as we were hindered by the weather last year, and had to move it to the next day.”

Divers are welcome after 1 p.m. and prize giving will take place from 4 p.m. at Cobalt Coast.

The funds raised are earmarked for the Cancer Society’s mammogram program, which provides vouchers to women who cannot afford the tests or who do not have insurance coverage to pay for them.

The Cancer Society recommends that women undergo regular mammograms from the age of 40. A mammogram is the best way to detect breast cancer early, when it is most treatable.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. Statistics show that one in eight women, or 12 percent, will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.

The news isn’t all gloom and doom, however. Since 2000, the number of breast cancer cases have gone down – thanks in part to a discovery of a link between hormone therapy used by women after menopause.

The American Cancer Society also says making screening available to low-income women has played a role in upping survival rates.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and events are being organized in Cayman – and around the world – to raise funds and awareness to help fight the disease.

Dive for the Cause is among several events on tap in October to support breast cancer awareness, spanning from a cut-a-thon and 5K run to a pilates workout and gala dinner.