Fairfield University to screen movie about breast cancer survivors who compete in "Head of the Charles" rowing regatta


Image: Diane Cotting

Following her harrowing, but successful, fight with breast cancer, Diane Cotting was told she would not be able to lift more than five pounds. A lover of the sport of rowing, Cotting had other ideas.

Working with specialists, Cotting was back on the water ten months after her final surgery. However, the ordeal awakened the Boston resident to a great need. She founded Cotting Connection to raise awareness about the needs of breast cancer survivors. Cotting, a Boston resident, also produced a movie, "One in Nine," documenting the story of nine courageous survivors who teamed up to compete at the prestigious "Head of the Charles" regatta.

The Fairfield University Women's Crew team and the Wellness and Prevention Center at Fairfield University will be screening the film on Sunday, February 29, at 2 p.m. The viewing is free and open to the public. Cotting will attend the viewing and talk with two classes in Fairfield's School of Nursing the following day.

"What Team 'One in Nine' tried to do that day in October was show others that cancer need not be the end of life, but the beginning of a rich new life through friendship and teamwork," Cotting said. "As I always say, 'Got life? Get living!' Sometimes we just need a little help to get back on our feet."

Image: One In NineCotting first met Andre Albert, director of rowing and head women's rowing coach, at the "Head of the Charles." Cotting's team was in search of a black boat to match the pink and black crew outfits they had designed for their team and Fairfield University's Women's Crew team was able to provide it.

When the Women's Crew team learned about Cotting's movie, they teamed up with Fairfield's Wellness and Prevention Center to schedule a showing and get the word out around campus.

"We're doing it to create awareness," Albert said of the movie, which he has already viewed. "It's really got an impact."

Following surgery to remove cancerous breast tumors, survivors are at risk of developing serious medical conditions from the treatments that saved their lives. As a result, many women have been discouraged from participating in any physical activity. The movie depicts the struggle that nine survivors endured in getting to the point that they could compete in the regatta against their peers. This program is made possible by a community grant from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for those living with, through and beyond cancer.

For reservations for the viewing, call the Fairfield Crew office at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2023, or e-mail at Aalbert@mail.fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 18, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 191