From running on pink treadmills to collecting pink lids, there’s a variety of ways to help raise money for breast cancer research and awareness this month. But the most adorable fighter against the disease has got to be Beefy the Bulldog. This skateboarding pup has been traveling around the country with Boarding for Breast Cancer, a nonprofit that aims to educate young people about breast cancer and advocates for self-exams and an active lifestyle.
Erin Clemens, Beefy’s owner, was diagnosed with breast cancer at 25 and has since worked to raise money and awareness about breast cancer. “That was the least of my worries when I was 25,” says Clemens, who found a lump when she accidentally scratched herself. “I didn’t even fathom that I’d have breast cancer. My advice to young women would be to do breast self exams like it’s brushing your teeth. Just do it once a month even when you’re young so you know how they feel if there’s a difference. You should know your body.”
So how did their English Bulldog get involved with the cause? Patrick, Erin’s husband, taught Beefy to ride on a skateboard and has worked with Boarding for Breast Cancer before. They realized that getting Beefy to join would only help the cause. “People love talking to us with Beefy around and it’s easy to get someone’s attention with a cute dog,” says Clemens.
You can support Beefy and find out if he’s coming to a city near you here. Meanwhile, Erin is also working on a documentary about breast cancer and how it’s affecting younger women, to raise awareness about making breast self-exams a habit. “Be your best advocate so you can stay alive.”