Thinking Pink

Around Montana, runners, anglers, and cowboys are breaking out their gear to help find a cure for breast cancer—the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, after lung cancer. In the United States, a woman has a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. That is one out of eight mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, friends, co-workers, and community members. As Montanans, we can’t sit idly by—we need to get out and make a difference. Several Montana events provide a way for everyone to get outside, get some exercise, and raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer.

Race for the Cure
Susan Komen lost her battle with breast cancer, but her legacy lives on through the work of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the organization started by her sister Nancy. Komen for the Cure is the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1 billion since its inception in 1982. Run, walk, or stroll during the 17th Annual Race for the Cure—just head up to the State Capitol building in Helena on May 21. With 5k and 1-mile races, there’s a distance for everyone. For more info, check out

Sleep in for the Cure
Even the lazy can help out. If you can’t make it to Helena for the 10am race start time, you can still participate in the Sleep in for the Cure. Register, fundraise, and join a team—the same as for Race for a Cure. Then, come Saturday morning, you can rest peacefully knowing you made a difference.

Row for the Cure
Spawned by a collection of friends in the fly fishing industry, Rowing for the Cure is an innovative campaign to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research. Prominent fishing guides throughout the western U.S. will row the pink boat for a few days at a time this spring, accepting donations from clients, fellow anglers, and onlookers and then pass it on to the next outfitter, lodge, or guide. All donations go directly to Montana’s Komen for the Cure chapter. If you’re interested in guiding out of the boat or having the boat at your event, contact Ian Davis at Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures. You can also follow the adventures of the pink boat at

Tough Enough to Wear Pink
This event was created by entrepreneur and breast cancer survivor Terry Wheatley to bring the sport of professional rodeo and the western community together and to rally against breast cancer. Since its inception in 2004, TETWP has encouraged rodeos and western events in the U.S. and Canada to focus attention on the need for a cure. To date, the campaign has raised $5 million dollars for breast cancer charities—much of which stays right in the community. Check out for event dates around Montana.

Catch It Early
Experience has taught humankind that the most effective control of any disease is to prevent it in the first place. That’s why early detection of breast cancer is crucial for providing the best hopes of prevention and survival. Breast self-exams are an important part of every woman’s cancer-prevention routine. Promising research in early detection involves targeting the blood supply that supports and feeds the tumor. It has been proven beyond doubt that tumors need energy to grow; therefore, early recognition of the growth of new blood vessels can indicate the potential for a breast abnormality or tumor.

Catch it early! The control of breast disease through clinical late‐stage detection and treatment is simply not a reality, as seen by the ever-increasing number of cases. Early warning and preventative treatment protocols, however, have the potential to reduce the number of late‐stage cases and thus save many lives. –Bev Coughlin 

Bev Coughlin is owner of Blossom Thermography in Bozeman. For more info, call 581.2639 or visit