PINK. Few things in the world of diving draw such a strong reaction as the color pink, be it approval or derision. My own pink dive gear most often receives admiring compliments, but it has also borne witness to jokes (“Well, we know we won’t lose you!”), invited comparisons to a famous pink-logoed doll, and even incited one angry, somewhat intoxicated tirade about why “girly” colors make women seem weak.
But to me, pink is a lot more than a color—it’s a symbol of the fiercest fight I have known. Thirteen years ago, I was diagnosed with high-grade breast cancer, and parts of my life (diving included) were put on hold while I underwent harsh chemotherapy and multiple surgeries. All that time in the hospital gets boring, so I read constantly, especially dive magazines. Beautiful images of faraway places and fascinating marine life transported me forward in time, past cancer treatment, to incredible sites that I couldn’t wait to explore. Those photos and the shooters behind them are ingrained in my memory.
I recently started a nonprofit organization called Dive into the Pink, which mobilizes the dive community to raise funds for breast cancer research and patient support. Next week, our first annual online auction will go live, with prizes that include chances to travel to some of the most amazing, photo-worthy destinations in the world. And what better way to raise awareness for the auction and our cause than with a beautiful gallery of images featuring the color pink?
As I considered which photographers to contact for a “pink” gallery, the names that kept popping into my head were those whose images helped me to remain hopeful and steadfast during the time I was battling cancer. I shouldn’t have been surprised when each of them enthusiastically agreed to showcase the color pink—and I am more grateful to them now than I have ever been.
The inaugural Dive into the Pink Auction starts at 8pm (PDT) on October 1, 2016 and ends at 5pm (PDT) on October 7, 2016. To participate, visit www.32auctions.com/divepink2016.
About the Author: Allison Vitsky Sallmon’s photographic work has been recognized in numerous international underwater photography competitions and published in books and magazines on diving, marine life, and nature photography. She is also an avid writer and commonly contributes articles on diving, travel, and marine conservation issues to North American dive media. Allison is founder and president of Dive into the Pink, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes the dive community to raise money for breast cancer research and survivor support. www.avitsky.com
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