Wear Pink to Help My Dad

Mar. 7, 2015

This blog is the first in a series leading up to Pink Vail, the world’s biggest ski day to conquer cancer, March 21, 2015.

Doing an ‘Alley Oop Ten’ is one of the craziest feelings in the world––as I travel down the pipe while spinning up, gravity seems to disappear for a second. Then all of a sudden I just seem to land. Being on skis, in those critical moments that will determine whether I top the podium or not, are the moments I live for.

I’m Broby Leeds, an aspiring professional freeskier. Skiing for a living, seeking sponsors, listening to Rick Ross and J Cole on redeye flights, training, training, training. Every skier knows each other, their signature tricks, their personal troubles and triumphs it’s a big family! But when we all line up to compete in the pipe, or on rails and jumps, it is still a competition.

As a family, my dad, mom, sister and I used to do a lot together: play tennis, go out to movies, or crush taco night. But life can change quickly. When I’m not traveling for competitions these days, I try and help out around the house as much I can or play cribbage with my Dad because he doesn’t have the strength for tennis anymore.

A year ago I found out that my Dad had been diagnosed with cancer. My Dad has been the foundation of my family, the guy I could always depend upon, and suddenly, it was up to me to return the favor and help him. I knew I had to step up, to support my Dad and my family while my Dad undergoes treatment at Shaw Regional Cancer Center near my home.

I admit it’s made me feel a little helpless. If anyone you love has had cancer, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m a student and professional skier, not a doctor. When I’m not participating in competitions, I’m attending college and majoring in different subjects daily. But what good is any of that in helping my Dad? From the moment my Dad was diagnosed, I knew I had to do something, but besides being there for him I never imagined that there would be a huge ski event for people fighting cancer right here at my home mountain of Vail.

At Pink Vail, skiers get together and dress up in vibrant pink clothes and costumes. As a guy, the idea of dressing all in pink sounds interesting, but I’ve learned to think of it this way: Pink Vail is the one day of the year guys and girls can deck out in pink and not be embarrassed, because it allows us to unite and actually do something since I can’t literally punch cancer in the face.

Pink Vail is on March 21st and I’m asking my family and friends to participate. I hope you will too! We’ve all been touched by cancer, and Pink Vail is a great opportunity to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and survivors right here in our community. The funds raised at this awesome event will help make the cancer journey for people like my dad a little easier. Pink Vail benefits the Spirit of Survival program, which includes free fitness classes, nutrition coaching, and emotional support for ALL cancer patients and survivors at Shaw Regional Cancer Center. Please get involved by attending, donating or volunteering your time.