Cochran puts local face on breast cancer awareness at the X Games |

Cochran puts local face on breast cancer awareness at the X Games

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

When Emily Cochran was diagnosed with breast cancer at 23 years old, she shattered her friends’ perceptions of the disease.

First of all, she was young, and secondly, her family had no history of breast cancer. And when she told her friends that she had found the lump during a breast self-exam, many of her friends admitted they had never examined themselves for lumps.

But during surgery and chemotherapy, Cochran noticed how little information there was out there for younger women with breast cancer. Around that time she picked up a book called “Pretty good for a girl: The autobiography of a snowboarding pioneer” by Tina Basich.

When she saw a passage about Basich’s nonprofit, Boarding For Breast Cancer, Cochran discovered the organization’s founders believe in educating young, athletic women about the disease, since prevention is the best cure.

Now 25 and living in Aspen, Cochran’s cancer has been in remission for the past two years. She was delighted when she learned that the nonprofit was heading to the ESPN Winter X Games in Aspen for a fund-raiser.

“I called Boarding for Breast Cancer and told them I’d like to help,” said Cochran, who continues to go to a doctor for regular checkups. “I’m young, I live here, and I have a lot of friends here to share information with.”

On Wednesday morning, Cochran stopped by The Aspen Times to get the word out about the Boarding For Breast Cancer fund-raiser Saturday at Club Chelsea from 9 to 11 p.m. A $10 donation at the door benefits B4BC, as the organization is known.

In the past, the nonprofit has raised money by auctioning off sculptures of breast molds of female athletes such Aspen’s Gretchen Bleiler, an X Games champ from last year. At the Aspen fund-raiser, a breast mold donated by Sharon Osbourne and decorated by Basich will be auctioned off, as will molds from surfers Rochelle Ballard and Keala Kennelly, and Vail snowboarder Barrett Christy.

Skateboarder Tony Alva and boardercrosser Jason Brown are some of the athletes who decorated the pieces.

According to its Web site,, the nonprofit began when Basich, Olympic bronze-medalist snowboarder Shannon Dunn and business owner Lisa Hudson lost their close friend, Monica Steward, to breast cancer when she was just 28 years old. Steward had lamented a lack of information about the disease for younger women and helped form the nonprofit with her friends just before her death.

B4BC will share a booth with the Women’s Sports Foundation at the X Games to get the word out about the importance of early detection and healthy lifestyles.

“It’s rare for a young woman to have breast cancer, but statistically the death rate is higher because it’s often caught at a late stage,” Cochran said.

Although she’s lived in Aspen for less than a year, Cochran is taking snowboarding lessons and working at Pro Mountain Sports at the base of Buttermilk.

Saturday night’s event for Boarding for Breast Cancer is co-hosted by Paul Frank Industries, Fader Magazine, EA Sports, Nixon Watches and Op Girls Learn to Ride.


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