The nonprofit Tough Enough to Wear Pink has been leading the Western industry’s charge against breast cancer since 2004. Now, Twisted X is taking up the mantle with its newest philanthropic collaboration.
Who’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink?
Breast cancer has been a leading harbinger of grief, pain, and fear for centuries, with roughly 264,000 cases diagnosed in the United States each year. But the Western industry, known for its valiance and bravery in the face of hardship, is fighting back.
Leading the charge is Tough Enough to Wear Pink, a Western nonprofit dedicated to rallying the rodeo and Western communities against breast cancer by providing a framework for organizers to promote breast cancer awareness and raise funds for those fighting it.
Begun by Western wine-label owner and breast cancer survivor Terry Wheatley and former Wrangler director of special events and PRCA commissioner Karl Stressman, Tough Enough to Wear Pink was sparked by a desire to bring the wealth of resources within the Western industry together for a cause that affects nearly everyone in some way.
Quadrille de Mujeres supporting Tough Enough to Wear Pink at the 2014 Tucson Rodeo
After being diagnosed with breast cancer herself — the third woman in her family to receive that diagnosis — Wheatley had had enough of standing on the sidelines of the fight. A rodeo mother and Western vendor, Wheatley was looking forward to making it to the 2004 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and realized it was the perfect opportunity to get the full power of the Western industry behind the fight. But the question was … were the finalists of the 2004 NFR, a notoriously rough-and-tumble bunch, tough enough to wear pink?
As word got around about Wheatley’s pursuit of pink, Karl Stressman, then a Wrangler employee, couldn’t help but get invested. When Wheatley requested pink rodeo shirts, Stressman had Wrangler expedite an order from its 2005 line to disperse among the 2004 NFR finalists. With the help of PRCA’s media team, Wheatley and Stressman got all the rodeo stars on board. Come NFR opening-ceremony time, the stadium was a sea of pink, kicking off the revolution of breast cancer awareness within the Western industry.
Tough Enough to Wear Pink has since raised over $37 million for breast cancer charities and partnered with some of the industry’s largest companies, including Purple Cowboy Wines, Montana Silversmiths, the PRCA, Las Vegas Events, Cinch, and, most recently, Twisted X. The cowboy king of sustainability and philanthropy, Twisted X is taking the Tough Enough to Wear Pink movement to new heights by collaborating with Wise Health Systems to open the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Breast Cancer Counseling Center at the Center for Emotional Wellness.
Twisted X Stands Up To Cancer
Twisted X has been known to take up the charge toward a healthier and more sustainable future through its many collaborations. Most recently, the Western shoe brand partnered up with Fort Worth’s Cook Children’s Medical Center to create a shoe line designed entirely by four child patients of the medical center, the proceeds of which went straight back to the medical center.
Now, they are adding their name to the list of Western brands stepping up to help survivors of breast cancer with the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Breast Cancer Counseling Center. A collaboration between Twisted X and Wise Health Systems, the center focuses on the mental health implications of a diagnosis and provides those currently fighting and recovering from breast cancer with medical and mental health resources. The flagship center opened this spring in Decatur, Texas’ Center for Emotional Wellness.
Alongside traditional medical resources available, the center provides makeovers, therapeutic art classes, private counseling, and more opportunities to lift the spirits of those in the thick of the fight. Patients dealing with a cancer diagnosis are able to receive up to 12 counseling sessions free of charge with licensed therapists who specialize in treatment of anxiety, depression, shame resilience, stress management, grief, trauma, PTSD, and more.
The comprehensive programs and services focus on coping with diagnoses, healthily adjusting to physical changes, maintaining positive mental health and spirituality, and beyond — all to get the message across that those struggling with breast cancer are not alone in their fight.
But Twisted X isn’t done yet. In tandem with the opening of the counseling center, Twisted X has released a line of specialized moccasins and loafers that allow fans of the shoe brand to wear their support for breast cancer survivors. Shoes like the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Chukka Driving Moc and Slip-On Loafer showcase pink accents as well as stitching of the pink breast cancer ribbon. A portion of every Tough Enough to Wear Pink shoe sold will go toward breast cancer treatment and research, putting direct action behind Twisted X’s favorite phrase — “shoes with purpose.”
The Tough Enough to Wear Pink shoe collection is currently available on Twisted X’s website as well as at shoe stores and Western vendors. To find more information on the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Counseling Center, head to Wise County Clinics’ website. To learn about how to further support the Tough Enough to Wear Pink movement, check out its official website and social media.
Images courtesy of Twisted X and Tough Enough to Wear Pink