Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dusty Showers

One unexpected gift on my 3 day journey has been making the acquaintance of some true heroes. The first day of the first year that I walked, I didn't quite know what to make of all those men in their pink get ups; The tutus, the wigs, the pink dresses, the helmets and the top hats. It all, all so pink! It all seemed so unmanly for heaven sakes. I wondered if these get ups were just to get attention. I wondered if the men did this because a wife made them do it. I wondered if they were sane or not. I just wondered.

I have learned a lot of things since then. Each person is at the 3 day for a very personal and unique reason. This year I decided to spotlight a few of the 3 day folks just so you can see what this little grassroots movement has created. It has created a community of heroes. I decided to start with Dusty.

Dusty is one of the best known men in the 3 day.

This one fellow that is pretty well known. His name is Dusty Showers. He has even been on Oprah. He was on a segment called "Make Over My Man!" He is a husky, manly man, who wears a pink bra. I've asked his permission to tell some of his story because I think in telling his story, you may better understand these men who embrace the pink in themselves and just why they make us all so much more powerful.

Dusty on Oprah

Along with Tim Gunn of Project Runway!

Dusty Showers, yes that is his REAL name, lives in S. Florida. He has two daughters and owns a company called Creepy Creatures. I find it absolutely perfect that is his profession. His is a pest and wildlife removal business, but he goes an extra step. In a Tamapa newspaper I read...

"Through Creepy Creatures (, Dusty will discuss with families what kind of pesky monsters are lurking under beds or in dark closets and then proceed to “remove” the frightening interloper, easing the minds of younger family members who can return to peaceful sleep. “When I was young, I was terrified by alligators and dinosaurs in my room,” the father of two says. “It’s tough if kids can’t get over their fears.” "

This is so perfect because that is what he is doing, whether he knows it or not, for Breast Cancer. He is helping us chase this monster out of the darkness, shed some light on it, bundle it up and put it somewhere where it can't hurt anyone again.

Dusty started in the 3 day as crew. His ex-wife and his ex-mother-in-law are both survivors. They had asked that he come and help when they walked in their first 3 day. In the beginning he didn't know what he was getting into, like a lot of us 3 dayers. Since then he has crewed or walked in 8 events. But the journey started with one event. And like many of us, that event changed him.

As Dusty says, when the first event was ending he saw women and men, finishing with blood, sweat and tears, “I fell in love with you then" he told a camp full of walkers. In the next couple of years he crewed at a hydration station. And that's where the bra comes in. Crew teams often decorate their stations in all sorts of crazy things. One that Dusty was manning decorated their station with bras and they would dress up. One of the women handed Dusty a bra and said “you are wearing this”. At first he said “No I am not!” and then he put on the bra. Nothing has been the same. What he saw was magic. Women would thank him with tears in their eyes. He got a lot of attention for sure. But that was a good thing because it might just help someone think twice about Breast Cancer, and doing self exams or getting a mammogram. This attention he was getting might just save a life.

Dusty moved on to walking in the 3 day a couple of years ago. After finishing his 8th event he has formed his own non-profit, The Second Basemen Inc. and in addition to the 3 day he has lent a helping hand directly.

“I love the men that do the crazy things to get the attention for the cause and to make people smile…but the greatest hero is that man that sits quietly by his partner’s side, holding her hand. Not wanting anything other than for his wife to live. That is a 2nd Basemen.”-- Dusty Showers

He is a true second baseman. He has been there to support this effort in any way he can. And that means so much.

As a survivor even after 16 years, there are times I am self-conscious about my appearance. Those women who have been through this feel self-conscious about having lost a breast or having had it cut into and scarred. There is something about a guy who unabashedly wears his pink that makes you feel they get it and that, that is so amazing. And somehow your own shyness about your looks melts away. So I understand those tears and thanks. I feel the same way when I see Glenn covered in Pink Boas.

For all of us, it helps beyond measure for someone to lift us up. Dusty said the 3 day has done that for him, after a particularly rough patch in his own life. But he, he continues to do that for us.

When someone is battling incredible odds, there are those who make you feel safe and warm. They are there to bring you light when the night is dark and frightening. Thank you Dusty for bringing such amazing lightness to all of us

Dusty just completed a video that will tell you more. He asked survivors to give him a photo so he could include them in the video. I sent a picture of Patti and me, and Leslie. Take a look…

AND get involved . Donate, walk, crew.... you will find it opens a whole new world.

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