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Diving Against Cancer; Diving for Hope

Leading a state-focused mission, the Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio (BCFO) helps breast cancer victims and their families fill in crucial budgetary gaps through volunteer and fundraising projects. In the scuba sphere, the BFCO’s annual Dive Hope event has brought over $20,000 to needy families and individuals and will continue to serve as a keystone fundraiser this summer.

 By John Tapley; photos courtesy Brian Miller

Aqua Lung Representative Brian Miller has organized Dive Hope since its inception in 2008. His impetus for founding the event sparked after witnessing his grandniece suffer from leukemia and the financial constraints it placed on his relatives. He gladly participated in a fundraising event, called up his regional Aqua Lung dealers, and contacted the BFCO to lay the foundation for Dive Hope. “If you look at the [cancer] treatment individuals have, much of it is paid by insurance, but much of it is not.” Miller explains.

Scheduled to take place August 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at White Star State Park in Gibsonburg, Ohio, Dive Hope 2014 will feature a day of engaging scuba activities such as a keychain treasure hunt, demonstrations and information from local Aqua Lung dealers, and the sinking of a special commemorative plaque. Further facilitating the day of fun and fundraising, Aqua Lung and other manufacturers will donate equipment to a raffle and silent auction. Tickets for attending the event are $10 each while raffle opportunities are $1 per ticket; lunch and two raffle tickets are included in admission. All proceeds from the event, including donations, will go directly to the BFCO.

While the disease and its survivors are featured at the forefront of the collective consciousness, there are many unfortunate secondary circumstances connected to the affliction, which are not fully apparent or often discussed. For many in America, affording cancer treatments comes with a series of difficult financial decisions and calculated risks: funds used for medical expenses are routinely siphoned from important staples such as food, clothing, and utilities. This dire situation is even more pronounced when a cancer victim must choose between her overall health or the well-being of her family. Dependent on the impassioned dedication of its volunteers and benefactors, the BCFO helps finance a number of life-changing expenses such as job training, temporary financial support, and transportation.

“If you have to make a choice between buying groceries for your family and getting the treatment, you’re going to choose to feed your family,” explains BCFO Executive Director Deb Ferenc. “A lot of these women simply can’t afford treatment and we know what happens then. There are many people who live with the disease day by day who just can’t afford life.”

For more information on the BCFO’s important goals, and to find out how you can volunteer or donate, visit

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