When a loved one dies, a part of us dies with them. Sometimes it’s from old age. Sometimes it’s from an accident. But when that death comes about from a disease that can and should be cured, then it can become maddening. Cancer, in all of its forms, is an insidious disease that takes too many lives. We all know someone who has had it. And we all want it to be defeated.
When Cristi Quill’s mother passed away after her fight against breast cancer, she knew she had to do something. As she states, many people go on memorial walks or marathons. But Cristi says she’s not a runner or a walker. She’s a diver. She dives. So that’s what she did.
However, Cristi didn’t just do on a memorial dive for her mother. She took it many steps further. She decided to do what no other woman diver had ever attempted in history. She attempted, and accomplished, a world record saltwater duration dive. On July 9th, just days before World PADI Women’s Diver Day, Cristi took to the waters off of La Jolla, California, for the record-setting dive. A man from Egypt held the previous record at 51 hours, so Cristi made sure she surpassed that.
Along the way, Cristi also set the dive up as a fundraiser, with all proceeds from her difficult endeavor going to the American Cancer Society. As she states, cancer costs us all billions of dollars. And it costs lives. What Cristi has done not only advances the awareness of how devastating cancer can really be, she also raised the profile of SCUBA divers everywhere. Not that we needed the rise in stature in our own eyes. We divers know we belong to a special community of responsible citizens. It’s just that the world in general doesn’t know. The non-diving world looks at SCUBA divers as enigmatic and intrepid souls, a little hard to understand, treading off the beaten path. When divers like Cristi accomplish something as selfless and brave as her record-setting fundraising dive, she conveys to the world what other SCUBA lovers already know. Divers are, by nature, responsible and conscientious. We have to be. Our training dictates that we are.
And it was her training she had to rely on during her more than two days underwater. We divers are used to thirty minute to one hour dives. Then we come up for a surface interval and dive again for an hour. But over fifty one hours? That’s some serious bottom time. Imagine what it’s like to drink water while submerged. Or eat food. Or sleep. Cristi did all of this while enduring her amazing dive. I know several socalled ‘badass’ divers and none of them would even try pulling off what Cristi did. So we at USIA, manufacturers of some of the world’s most durable dry suits, salute Cristi Quill for her inspiring feat. Sure, she was wearing a competitor’s dry suit for the ordeal, but we won’t hold that against her.
Sources: www.kusi.com |