My name is Francesca and I like to ski. I was born in the land of beers, brats, lederhosen and yodeling and was first introduced to the K2 brand in Penzberg, Germany at age three. I moved to Jackson, Wyoming for high school and am currently finishing college in Bellingham, Washington. Born in Munich, Germany, to two crazy Euro ski instructors, my upbringing revolved around the mountains and it was clear to me that I would one day like to work in the ski industry. Here I am, 21 years young, shipping skis and boots to athletes all around the world, answering K2 love letters and sticker requests and loving life as the current intern for this ‘serious but fun’ company.
But enough about me, October is the International Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I dedicate this month to my good friend Elena. I dedicate it to all who have suffered from breast cancer and to all currently fighting it. I dedicate it to the warriors, the dreamers and to the believers. I dedicate it to loving life with all its ups and downs and I dedicate it to strength. Yes. To strength. To support. To love. And to willpower.
During our first year of high school my friend Elena was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what that would mean for her and our friendship. Never had I expected to watch her celebrate birthday year, after year, in the hospital attached to tubes and machines, her body and loving nature shrinking with each passing year. Although the disease tried to capture her free spirit, this girl taught us one thing I will never forget– the power of indescribable strength and will. A strength that bends but that is never broken.
Everyday, 625 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. It is the second most common cancer in women and men worldwide. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is working to ‘prevent and cure breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research.’ Only through research can the understanding of cancer be revolutionized and the core of this insidious disease discovered. Founded in 1993 by Evelyn H Lauder, the foundation has raised over $500 million to ‘fuel discoveries in tumor biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, survivorship and metastasis.’ In 2014-2015, BCRF will award $58.6 million in annual grants to 222 scientists from the most prestigious universities and medical institutions around the world.
The outdoor community strives to help end breast cancer by funding research and supporting athletes and community members in their battle. Here at K2 we believe that it is important to feel and express gratitude for the environment and people that surround us and that it is of even greater importance to support those who may be struggling and unable to enjoy life and the natural forces as we do. We highlight the BCRF ribbon on our women’s skates, boards and skis and have supported the Breast Cancer Research Foundation with an annual $50,000 donation to fund research since 2002.That’s over $500,000 and counting.
The Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation’s #BetheEnd is grounded in the belief that every person has the power to be the end of breast cancer by supporting research. Purchase a shop pink product, start a fundraiser or share a #BeTheEnd campaign image on social media.
I strongly believe in the significance of being thankful for what we have and continuously fueling ourselves off adrenalin, the outdoors and stoke while also remembering to put our egos aside and support those less fortunate than ourselves. Be the End.