Way Out Woman sledding to support breast cancer

Diana Gregg, a medical transcriptionist at Washington State University’s Veterinary Medical School, is an official Way Out Woman.

Gregg is one of six women in Idaho chosen to participate in the Way Out Women cross-country snowmobile ride in January and February. The ride, sponsored by Polaris Industries, will benefit breast cancer research and awareness in the U.S. and Canada.

“I wanted to sign up right away,” said Gregg. Her mother underwent a complete mastectomy and her cousin died at the age of 32 from the disease. “Breast cancer has been very active in my family. Unfortunately, I’ve been around it a lot.”

That and her love for snowmobiling make Gregg the perfect candidate to participate in the WOW Relay. She began the sport in 1988 and has become heavily involved with the local snowmobiling culture. She is Region II director of the Idaho Snowmobile Association.

Gregg will snowmobile her way from Priest River, Idaho, on Feb. 1, to West Yellowstone, Mont., on Feb. 7. She will have to ride 60 to 110 miles a day to make the distance in that time.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” she said. “I certainly hope I can make a difference and spread awareness of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

“I would love to raise $5,000,” she said. “People have already started donating.” Support for Gregg and the WOW Relay can be seen throughout the community. “The Veterinary Department has been very supportive and excited for me,” she said. They held a soup and bake sale to raise funds. Also, her town of Elk River, Idaho, held a dance/auction benefit on Jan. 3. In addition to riding for a cause, Gregg will be enjoying a whole new part of the country. “We’re going to ride through some really beautiful areas,” she said.

Gregg had to go through a selection process that required her to send a personal letter and application because so many women wanted to participate in the WOW Relay.

“We are overwhelmed by the success of the 2003 WOW Relay and are excited about doing it again in 2004,” said Penny Mahon, Canadian ride coordinator for the relay. “Raising funds for a disease that has touched most of us just made sense.”

According to statistics, an estimated 233,000 women in the United States and Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and 45,200 will die from it. Breast cancer also occurs in men but is rare. An estimated 1,640 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.

Recognizing the growing trend of women involved in snowmobiling, Polaris organized the 2003 Canadian WOW Relay, which successfully raised more than $175,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. This year, Polaris added the U.S. to its WOW Relay and plans to donate proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in Dallas, Texas.

Anyone may donate to the WOW Relay in Gregg’s name. She may be contacted at home at 208-826-3628 or by e-mail at vern-di@moscow.com. Also, donation forms and general information about the WOW Relay are available on the Polaris website:

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