Sunday, April 01, 2007

An Invitation To Help

The following letter is being distributed through our network with these goals:
  • raise breast cancer awareness;
  • promote fund raising directly for Ginni (below); and
  • promote fund raising for the foundations supporting research for breast cancer.

Dear Friends,

As many of you may have heard by now, our good friend Ginni Callahan faced one of life’s most daunting experiences this past winter: breast cancer. In true Ginni style she’s doing it with grace and dignity.

Breast cancer has no boundaries. It can hit right out of school or right before retirement, and can affect women as well as men. It can impact those with no family history. Ginni - a professional sea kayak coach who lives along the Columbia River, Washington - is a healthy, young, active woman with no family history of cancer. This is a reminder to all of us to get checked and self-test as early detection is our best defense.

More detail about breast cancer risk factors, controllable and less so, is summarized at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure website:

Breakthrough Breast Cancer in the UK has published this excellent awareness page:

Ginni is many things to us: a leader, an author, coach, paddling partner, and certainly an indomitable inspiration. Just after Thanksgiving, 2006, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS, a non-invasive cancer limited to duct tissue) extending beyond the limits of the biopsy sample in all directions. Doctors recommended mastectomy, which was scheduled for December 12. She was home from the hospital recovering that afternoon - and on the road to The Baja by the beginning of January.

Ginni headed to Baja not only for the "surf therapy" needed to help her recover but also for her livelihood. Seasonal, migrating kayak coaches have to keep moving to keep solvent - and still rarely allow that they need help.

While she has been gone a group of friends devised ways for her compadres (that’s you!) to help Ginni financially. Not everyone can get down to Loreto for one of her brilliant classes - so here are some options. Two ways you can help:

1. Donate to your nearest foundation. If you’re in the States, that’s Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Click here to reach the Oregon and SW Washington Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This secure form accepts most credit cards and has a Verisign secure certificate.

UK-based readers may use their cards securely to donate to Breakthrough Breast Cancer here:

Both sites can accept payments from other countries.

2. Send a check directly to Ginni and receive a personalized thank-you. Please make check payable to:
Virginia Callahan
and put it in the mail to:
PO Box 473
Nehalem, OR 97131
  • $40 gift. With this gift you will receive a 5X7 photo off Ginni’s Favorite Photo page. Please specify which photo you would like and include a return address. You will receive your photo in May.
  • $60 gift. With this gift to Ginni, you will receive a new copy of Steady As She Goes: Women's Adventures at Sea, edited by Barbara Sjoholm (now out of print), while supplies last.
  • $100 gift. With this gift you will receive a copy of This is The Sea (I) DVD, and an 8 x 10 photo off Ginni’s Favorite Photo page. Please specify which photo you would like and include a return address. You will receive your photo and DVD in May.
Don't forget a return address!

Anything is appreciated, and the most important thing to take away from this experience is to stay informed about breast cancer.

More information about Ginni Callahan:

More information about a couple guys paddling a pink kayak and helping to raise awareness:

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