What started off as one woman’s idea to show solidarity for women suffering from cancer is quickly becoming a nationwide phenomenon. The Dip in the Nip 2012 will take place on June 24 in four separate counties this year, with Clare, Cork and Meath joining Sligo, the county where the fundraising event first happened.
The brainchild of Sligo woman Máire Garvey, Dip in the Nip was embraced by many women (and for the last two years, men as well) from the county who were willing to shed their clothes for the cause of cancer.
Since the first Dip in 2009 many women have taken part and their motives for doing so are diverse.
Some want to show solidarity with their sisters who are battling cancer. Some are there because they have won the battle with cancer and want to take part for the life experience.
Many have taken part to honour the memory of a loved one who died from cancer. The motives are different, but the results are the same: a life-affirming experience and some vital funds raised for charity.
This year, each Dip is being organised in association with a local cancer charity, which will keep half of the monies raised at that Dip.
The remaining money will go towards, among other things, a Scalp Cooler Fund. Scalp Coolers are pieces of equipment that minimise or prevent hair loss in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
“Research shows that up to 8% of women suffering from cancer delay or forego chemotherapy due to the fear of hair loss, which is a shocking statistic,” said Máire Garvey. “I hope that the provision of scalp coolers will make it easier for them to say ‘yes’ to appropriate treatment.
“This year there will be prizes for our Top Fundraisers (including a specially made bespoke piece of jewellery worth €500 for the Top National Fundraiser) Oldest Dippers and Best Dressed Naked Dippers! There’ll be lots of other goodies as well.”
The first Dip in the Nip was held in Sligo in 2009 and 180 women from all over Ireland raised €56,000 for the Irish Cancer Society.
Since then, there have also been a number of Men’s Dips, most recently the Blue September Dip in the Nip, and the first mixed Dip in the Nip in Galway recently for Hand in Hand Children’s Cancer Charity. Nearly €200,000 has been raised in total.
It’s an experience that once done, will never be forgotten. As one veteran Dipper puts it, “Cancer is such a scary thing that whipping off your clothes and running into the sea didn’t seem so scary, and it’s very life affirming!”
Registration is now open at www.dipinthenip.eu To see a Dip in progress, visit Youtube and enter the search “Dip in the Nip”.