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‘Spring Break From Cancer’ gives cancer patients the chance to try scuba diving 🌊

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BROOKFIELD -- On Sunday, March 24, a special "Spring Break Away From Cancer" event was held at Brookfield Central High School. An employee at the Clinical Cancer Center at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin offered a unique opportunity for those battling cancer.

It served as a stay-cation for cancer patients, who got their feet wet, trying something they never thought they'd be able to do.

Spring Break from Cancer scuba diving

Michelle Hunt

"It feels good. There aren't a whole lot of things left on my bucket list, so it feels nice," said Michelle Hunt, a breast cancer survivor.

Hunt stumbled upon a flyer for the event while she was attending physical therapy. When she learned she could scuba dive despite her cancer background, she dove in head first.

Spring Break from Cancer Scuba Diving

Ann Bechthold

"I texted my husband that day and I was like, 'Hey, I might get to scuba dive Sunday!' I'm pretty sure he was like, 'What?!'" said Hunt.

Cancer as a setback was something that didn't sit well for Ann Bechthold, who works with cancer patients daily. She's also a scuba instructor at Stillwater Diving in Delafield. She decided to combine her passions to create an opportunity for patients to enjoy life underwater.

"Nothing matters when you're underwater," said Bechthold. "The world's troubles all go away."

Spring Break from Cancer scuba diving

Cancer patients suited up, grabbed their googles and flippers, and headed into the water to experience something they never thought they would. The ocean was brought to the pool as patients picked up seashells and saw photos of ocean fish. They drowned out what might be going on in their lives, and checked scuba diving off their bucket lists.

"It's just a break away from the daily struggles that they go through," said Bechthold.

Organizers said they hope to have the event again if they can find enough support and funding.

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