Yampa Valley women with breast cancer not alone in fight | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Valley women with breast cancer not alone in fight

Nicole Inglis

Deb Curd founded the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project 12 years ago after losing a friend to breast cancer. The organization has given out more than $250,000 to support women who are battling breast cancer.

— There are women who are charged with the task of overcoming the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer, and then there are those who stand with them and fight by their side.

Here in the Yampa Valley, women with breast cancer are not alone: Local organizations and fundraisers are there to fill in the gaps for resources, funding and support, adding an extra boost of hope along the arduous path to recovery.

For more than a decade, Rally for the Cure, the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project and the Bust of Steamboat have served a need in the community for awareness, prevention screenings and treatment support.

Steamboat resident Linda Danter saw that need 13 years ago when she launched the Steamboat Springs Rally for the Cure. Danter got 36 women out on the Steamboat Golf Club course for a day and raised a little more than $1,100 for the national Rally for the Cure foundation.

"I don't know anybody who hasn't been touched by it," Danter said. "To me, it seems epidemic in our small town. There's so many of our friends that I knew were touched by it. We need to make an impact in our community."

Around the same time, local resident Deb Curd was watching a close friend fight a battle with breast cancer she ultimately would lose. Curd picked up the fight in her friend's memory and launched the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project and its flagship fundraiser, the Bust of Steamboat. Curd, along with the help of a dedicated committee of about eight women, are putting on the 11th annual fundraiser, which auctions off high-end, breast-inspired art pieces by local artisans, from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 26 at Three Peaks Grill.

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The event has gone from raising about $10,000 in its first year to $45,000 last year.

"You use some of your emotions to make things better," Curd said about the impetus for her passion project.

For Curd, she saw her friend struggling for her life while also struggling with finances. The Breast Cancer Awareness Project doles out funds in Northwest Colorado to help women with costs that insurance doesn't cover such as gas money, hotels during treatment trips and wigs.

Curd also saw a need to help women pay for mammograms and raise awareness in the community that early detection of the disease can be the difference between life and death.

"It alleviates some of their stress over financial worries," Curd said. "It's really about focusing on women's health and taking one worry away and knowing that they just have to worry about taking care of themselves."

Meanwhile, Danter's event was growing too large. She moved the Rally for the Cure event to Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club and began to donate the funds to the Breast Cancer Awareness Project.

This year, the event raised $44,500 and nearly $40,000 of that stayed with the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project.

After 13 years, Danter is passing the torch to Robin Crossan, who will take it over next year.

In addition to the two major breast cancer fundraisers, Déjà Vu Consignment in downtown Steamboat has a pink donation bin for clothes to be sold to benefit the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project. Sisters in Steamboat this past weekend raised funds for the nonprofit, Sew Steamboat holds sew-ins for fingerless gloves they sell to raise money and the Lunafest Film Festival in February at Bud Werner Memorial Library also serves as a fundraiser.

Overall, the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project has doled out more than $250,000 to local women.

Women in need of resources or funds for an exam or treatment can call 970-846-4554, and Curd and her team will reply to each call.

"It's just a passion to give back to the community, to give back to women," she said.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com

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