Professional wrestling to benefit breast cancer research

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William James
The Broadside

Shakespeare once said that “Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.”. This rings true for breast cancer patients and survivors in Bend as Independent Wrestling and Athletics Productions and Blue Collar Wrestling are presenting live professional wrestling for the first time at the Midtown Ballroom on Oct.15, with all proceeds going to Sara’s Project for breast cancer research. The project honors Sara Fisher, a high school teacher and counselor who died in 1992 after a seven year battle with the disease.

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Breast cancer is a type of cancer where cells in the breast tissue divide and grow without normal control. Sara’s Project is a breast health education and outreach partnership created by St. Charles Cancer Care. It was founded to promote early detection of breast cancer, build awareness, and provide support to those facing breast cancer.

According to breastcancer.org and breastcancer2020deadline.org, “About 1 in 8 women in the United States (that’s 12% of women) will develop invasive breast cancer over their lifetime.” Last year an estimated 207,090 new cases were expected to be diagnosed. On the other hand, last year more than 2.5 million women in the United States were breast cancer survivors—studies showing that death rates due to breast cancer have been decreasing since 1990. It is thought to be the result of treatment advances in the field of medicine, earlier detection through screening, and just increased awareness in general.

Breast cancer can happen in men, too, although it is rare. According to cancer.org, about 2,140 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among men, and about 450 men are projected to die from the disease. Independent Wrestling and Athletics Productions is a local athletic promotion company that promotes boxing, martial arts and mixed martial arts events. Their focus is primarily on professional wrestling. This type of wrestling requires intense training and dedication from everyone involved in the show’s presentation. There are a variety of different combat style presented including amateur wrestling and Judo to Mixed martial arts and high flying acrobatic maneuvers.

“We’ve been in the business on the other side for about 10 years”, said Michelle Lewis, co-owner of the IWAP alongside her husband Tom Lewis. “This is the first time that we’ve wanted to actually partner with BCW as promoters to host an event.” IWAP will also be partnering with BCW again in January to bring another wrestling event to Bend, although the January show will not be a fundraising event.

Advance tickets are on sale now at Max Muscle, Sounds on Wheels, Rollerdoll Skates and Tres Chic. Ringside seats are $12, general admission after that is ten dollars, children between the ages of 7 and 13 can get in for six dollars and kids 6 & under get in free. COCC and Oregon State University of the Cascades students will get a three dollar discount if they bring their ID cards at the time they buy their tickets.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun and it will benefit a whole lot of local people,” said Lewis. “I encourage all COCC and OSU students to come out and welcome pro wrestling to Bend.”

William James can be contacted at wjames@cocc.edu

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