Portions of ticket sales benefit Breast Impressions, a Tulsa-based nonprofit working to boost breast cancer awareness and raise funds to support education, prevention and treatment through art. Its main mission is to donate breast-casting kits to women recently diagnosed with breast cancer so they can make a memory of their bodies before undergoing surgery, said Breast Impressions founder Judi Grove, who creates the casts each year for the Oklahoma City bout.
“That was our first goal, but then we realized how beautiful they were and that's when we decided we should do projects for breast cancer fundraising,” said Grove, who has earned the honorary roller girl name Mammy O'Gram.
“I've worked with 17 different roller derby teams across the country ... from California to New York. They're wonderful because they're not inhibited, and casting them is always a laugh. There's usually some alcohol involved when I'm casting them — which I partake in — and it's a lot of fun. The wonderful thing about roller girls is that they are the most community-minded athletic sportswomen I've ever met. They give back to the community.”
Rachel Coffey, AKA Rach-El Diablo, looked to baseball, her favorite sport besides roller derby, for inspiration when she decided to do her first breast cast and paint it herself. Although she is a Yankees fan, she mischievously painted a low-cut Twins jersey on the mold and named the piece “Don't Let Cancer Steal Second Base.”
“I'm a nurse, and I've had a lot of patients that have had mastectomies just within the past couple of years, and I feel really strongly about health maintenance and prevention,” said Coffey, a member of Oklahoma City's Tornado Alley Roller Girls.
“Roller derby really empowers women, and I think the message that we're sending is to empower yourself to take care of yourself.”
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Oklahoma City Roller Derby's Fourth Annual Bout Against Breast Cancer