Real men might not eat quiche, but they won’t balk at shooting pink arrows.
If wildlife biologists ever proclaim deer cannot see shades of red, at least one man in Pleasant Plain, Ohio, might just head afield wearing a pink jumpsuit.
David Lovin is no Liberace, though. He’s not particularly enamored with the color pink, and he’s not flamboyant.
For now, he’s content to carry a quiver full of pink arrows.
The avid deer hunter’s choice of shaft and fletching colors is intended to promote awareness of a disease that threatened to take his spouse’s life and ruin his.
He wouldn’t have considered such a thing four hunting seasons ago, but that was before his wife of 20 years, Tara, was diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancer – the very thing that killed her mother when Tara was 11 years old.
“We went through four surgeries, including a double mastectomy, two blood transfusions and eight rounds of the most harsh chemo treatments a person can take,” David said.
The chemo cost $40,000. And each infusion – three weeks apart – left her debilitated for two and a half weeks, until almost time to have the next one.
“We lost about everything we owned because I was unemployed at the time. Tara, who was undergoing treatments for 18 months, had to take leave from her job, and she was denied short-term disability.
“We lost both our car and truck,” he added. “I had to sell half my guns and both my big deer mounts.”
The couple barely managed to keep their home.
On a positive note, however, Tara has been cancer-free (in remission) for two years now. David has a job. And the couple is ever-so-slowly rebounding.
“We battle every day,” he said. “It’s a never-ending thing.”
Even so, the Lovins aren’t sleeping easy.
“Tara is also a gene carrier, and all three of our daughters – twin 15-year-olds and a 19-year-old – have a 65 to 75 percent chance of carrying the same gene,” David said. “Cancer is a part of my everyday life now.”
That explains the pink arrows. And it explains why he put together a girls tournament softball team that raises money for breast cancer research.
The team is called Cincy Hope Softball (short for Cincinnati). They played games in three states last year, raising money for their cause, which means just as much to the girls as being able to play a game they love. Two of their pitcher’s best friends had mothers who died from breast cancer.
David’s team has also held car washes for the Susan G. Komen organization. They worked for the King’s Island fundraiser as well, which raised $126,000 for cancer research by giving away a new Honda Accord.
David also supports the Pink Arrow Project (PAP), an organization that aims to bring awareness, support and hope to those suffering from all types of cancer.
The Pink Arrow Project is set up so that supporting companies or individuals can direct where their contributions go, whether at national or local levels.
“Archery clubs also do shoots to raise money for cancer patients in their areas,” says founder Mary Hale, who was told she would die 10 years ago. “All the money raised by clubs goes directly to their cause. We will help the company, retailer, individual or club raise money. We are also looking at starting a college fund for children of cancer patients.”
David’s support of Hale’s organization was a no-brainer.
“Breast cancer has put a hurting on my life, and it will never leave me be,” he said.
Last season, he harvested a 183-inch 14-pointer with a pink arrow, the first buck he’s tagged with his relatively new shafts. He’s also taken three does.
“I’ll be shooting pink arrows for the rest of my hunting days,” he vows.
Another of David’s many projects is maintaining a new Facebook page – Team Hope Hunting – he hopes will gain attention. His own website is cincyhope.com, which is where he promotes the softball team and a newly created knothole baseball team in Goshen, Ohio.
“We currently have three different teams playing for breast cancer awareness,” he said. “My plans for the future are to keep Cincy Hope rolling forward, to add more sponsors, and to add teams.”
Turning more pink arrows red also rates high on his list.
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This article was published in the August 2014 edition of Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine. Subscribe today to have Buckmasters delivered to your home.