First Bowl for the Cure Week celebrates survivors at Women's Championships

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By Aaron Smith and Ikra Zakir
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev.
- The first Bowl for the Cure Week at the United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships brought competitors and breast cancer survivors together to celebrate and honor their journeys.

Bowl for the Cure Week took place from June 21-27 at the National Bowling Stadium, giving bowlers competing in the 101st edition of the USBC Women's Championships the opportunity to recognize survivors, learn more about Bowl for the Cure and Susan G. Komen and raise awareness and donate toward the fight against breast cancer.

Bowl for the Cure is sponsored by USBC, in partnership with Susan G. Komen, and serves as a year-round fundraising and breast cancer awareness initiative that helps support research, education, treatment assistance and other community programs.

Survivors received wristbands and sashes to wear during their march out down the famed Center Aisle at the NBS prior to their team event, and bowlers had the chance to win daily prizes, sign the Survivor Wall and participate in a silent auction, with proceeds going to Bowl for the Cure.

From the silent auction and donations received on-site in Reno, the week helped raise more than $1,400 for Bowl for the Cure.

Carol Kendricks of San Antonio and Susan Dye of Port Deposit, Maryland, competed during Bowl for the Cure Week, and both are breast cancer survivors.

070221_CarolKendricksKendricks is a 43-year survivor, and Dye started her fight against breast cancer in 2014.

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 1977 and had a full mastectomy," said Kendricks, who made her 32nd Women's Championships appearance. "I had a reoccurrence in the right breast 21 years ago, and I went through treatment for that and had a biopsy to have it removed. In 1977, they took everything down to the chest wall, muscle and lymph nodes, but as a result of that, I'm here."

070221_SusanDyeDye, who competed in the Women's Championships for the sixth time, got the news she had been diagnosed shortly after retiring.

"I found out after I had just retired from work," Dye said. "I had a mammogram, and they told me they found a lump. I had to go for biopsies, and they called me a couple days later to tell me I had breast cancer. You hear that and start to immediately panic, but I'm a strong person. I called my doctor and was set up with a surgeon, and in December of 2014, I had a mastectomy on my left side."

Both Kendricks and Dye enjoyed the chance to come together to support their fellow survivors and hear more about their journeys during Bowl for the Cure Week.

When Kendricks heard about the introduction of the week to the Women's Championships schedule, she knew she had to be part of the experience.

"When I went online to register and saw there was a Bowl for the Cure Week, I knew that's when I wanted to bowl," Kendricks said. "I think it's important to support all the survivors, and my three friends who are with me, who are my co-survivors. They've been my supporters and shed tears with me when I needed to and listened to me.

"My favorite part was being recognized and meeting the other survivors. Being able to talk to them and catch up on their journeys makes you feel like you're not alone. When I was first diagnosed 43 years ago, nobody talked about breast cancer. It was the 'C' word. Now through Bowl for the Cure and Susan G. Komen, it's out there."

Dye was excited when her team captain let her know about Bowl for the Cure Week and knew she couldn't miss the opportunity.

"When my team leader told me about this, I knew I had to be there," Dye said. "We come out here to have a good time and love to come bowl, but it was very important to be here for this week. My favorite part is being here with all these ladies, knowing that we've made it. We survived, we're here and still fighting and moving on."

Bowl for the Cure Week also will take place at the 2022 Women's Championships in Addison, Illinois, from June 20-26, and registration already is open for the event at Stardust Bowl. Click here to learn more and register.

For more information and to donate to Bowl for the Cure, visit BOWL.com/BFTC. To learn more about Susan G. Komen, visit Komen.org.