Leticia Bufoni at The Pink Hotel
© Atiba Jefferson
Skateboarding

Leticia Bufoni is Boarding for Breast Cancer

Leticia Bufoni and B4BC's Wellness Director, Megan Pischke, share the importance of Boarding for Breast Cancer and how people can be educated and support those affected.
By Vivian Tang
7 min readPublished on
Professional skateboarder Leticia Bufoni has been using her platform and voice for good. The 27 year old is an ambassador for Boarding for Breast Cancer, a non-profit foundation that focuses on preparing people with education on early detection, promote the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and provide survivor support for those affected by breast cancer.
“Everyone knows someone touched by cancer,” Leticia said. “It’s important to talk about it so women get screened and know the warning signs. It’s something we should talk about, support and have conversations about regularly so we can help save lives.”
When Leticia was thinking of her next skating destination, she wanted to go somewhere different and somewhere she could bring more awareness to Boarding for Breast Cancer. “Where haven’t we skated?” Leticia thought when she was brainstorming with her team. “We were tossing around ideas and my hair used to be pink, it’s one of my favorite colors… so The Pink Motel came to mind,” the Brazilian skateboarder told us. “It’s an iconic spot to shoot here in the valley.”
Leticia Bufoni at The Pink Motel
Leticia Bufoni at The Pink Motel
After catching up with Leticia about Boarding for Breast Cancer, we wanted to learn more. We grabbed some time with B4BC's Wellness Director/Marketing Manager, Megan Pischke, to find out more about the non-profit's mission and journey so far.
Red Bull: Boarding for Breast Cancer was founded back in 1996, how did the non-profit come together?
Megan Pischke: The inspiration behind B4BC was a young woman named Monica Steward who started her battle with breast cancer at age 26. She passed two years later from complications that arose from a delayed diagnosis. Monica was part of the early snowboard industry and urged her friends in snowboarding to use their platform as a way to raise awareness for this disease, specifically young women.
Leading the charge was B4BC's current President Lisa Hudson, who was a dear friend of Monica's. Along with pro snowboarders Tina Basich, Shannon Dunn, Dawn Kish, Kathleen Gasparini and others, they rallied the leaders in the snowboard industry in support and in honor of Monica.
In April of 1996, B4BC's Snowboard + Music Festival at Sierra at Tahoe and was born at Sierra-at-Tahoe with the Beastie Boys rocking out in the middle of the slopes. Sadly, Monica passed away right before this historic event, but her spirit shined on that day in a celebration of life and love. The success of the first event inspired the founding of B4BC and our mission to educate and spread awareness amongst young people that early detection and a healthy active lifestyle is the best means of breast cancer prevention. Today, B4BC's Outreach Education booth is on the road over 100 days a year and our Chasing Sunshine Survivor Retreats and Wellness Programs support young women on their path to wellness and long survivorship.
Leticia Bufoni at The Pink Motel
Leticia Bufoni at The Pink Motel
The work you've all been doing is truly amazing. What has the general feedback been from people?
We have been around for nearly 25 years, and the overwhelming consensus is gratitude. We have countless stories from those who have either experienced breast cancer firsthand or have a loved one who has dealt with it. It affects so many, and I know people find comfort in knowing our organization is not only raising awareness but supporting those managing a diagnosis. We have heard from our young survivor community that they often depend on B4BC to not only support with outdoor communities and getting them back into their sports, but to connect them with other young women managing similar life challenges through breast cancer.
What is your personal relationship with sports?
I grew up in sports - starting with soccer at age 6. I pursued the life of a competitive athlete at a young age, with varsity/competitive softball, nearly going to college through that sport. But I fell in love with snowboarding as a teen and was fortunate to pursue it, and land it as a career for 14 years. And just as exhilarating as first descents around the world and X-Games appearances were, I have always considered nature as my ultimate teacher and as medicine. And am grateful to be sharing the outdoors now with my kids through surfing, snowboarding and pretty much living outside.
Would you say sports changed your life? If so, how?
I would say as a child I was very fortunate to be impressed by both my parents to live an outdoor adventure lifestyle. And I really feel it was a combination of both the outdoors and my sport of snowboarding that defined me. It created humility, and a greater understanding of my role here as a teacher, a parent, an influencer and an activist.
What has been one of the biggest challenges for Boarding for Breast Cancer?
To start, we have unfortunately seen an increasing number of more and more young women managing a breast cancer diagnosis, as well as treatments, and needing community and aftercare experiences. The challenge for B4BC here due to financial limitations would be not being able to serve and support all the women who come to us with needs. Our goals is to say YES to everyone women who is in need of these Survivorship experiences we create.
B4BC has a lot of great ambassadors. How do you choose them?
Often and fortunately, they choose us! Some agents have approached us as well, and wanted to see if it would be a good fit for their athlete in a giveback scenario- and I/we say anything goes, as long as someone organically aligns with B4BC, and it's a feel-good thing- we will gratefully work alongside them to share our important mission. We are currently re-working our Ambassador program, and we look forward to expanding the space for anyone who is willing and interested to get involved on that level.
Leticia Bufoni skating at The Pink Hotel
Leticia Bufoni at The Pink Hotel
Leticia Bufoni is one of your ambassadors. How has it been working with her?
We have been so excited to have Leticia as part of our team! It is obviously huge for our grassroots non-profit to not only have her interest, but to have an athletic female voice of her caliber and reach to speak to the cause in general. Especially in a time in the world (like now) where there are some deep and immediate needs - breast cancer still exists and affects 1 in 8 women in their lifetime, and we truly appreciate her standing by us as we continue to educate, inform and support. Leticia is a force and embodies a strong female spirit and voice. She has done so much for women in skateboarding and is a dedicated athlete and human. She's real, she's natural, and she's a force.
How can people help and get involved with B4BC?
People can get involved in so many ways - go to our website to find a skate, snow or wellness event to participate in, volunteer to help in our booth or at events and/or donate to support our survivorship programs. We have spent the past 6 months pivoting towards a more digital space which is allowing our worldwide community to participate and support in ways like never before. We invite everyone to join us October 25th for our 13th Annual [virtual] Skate the Coast and skate/bike/walk/hike their local paths, trails and neighborhoods for breast cancer prevention. Anyone can join or set up a team to participate. And for all those Leticia fans out there you can join her own personal Skate the Coast team here. For more info on this event, follow along on Instagram.