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Prince Salty

Submitted by: Heike Auel, Ladybugs Germany

Ladybugs Germany: A pink tractor to support early diagnosis of breast cancer

The Ladybugs have celebrated a very special ‘pink’ event. And when I say ‘special’, that’s saying something, because … the Ladybugs, a German pink paddling team located near Dortmund, have already achieved a lot of special things. One of it: Publishing, "Are you ready? Attention! Go!", a book about pink paddling and the Ladybugs.

This time, just a few days before Christmas, it was a baptism. No, they did not baptise a new dragon boat. They baptised a tractor. A very special one. This tractor is coloured pink! And it has slogans on it against cancer, and promoting early diagnosis of breast cancer. It’s so eye-catching, people will be drawn to it, start thinking about breast cancer instead of ignoring it, become aware of all they can do themselves. Maybe they start thinking about performing self-exams, doing ultrasonic scanning and all the other methods that are available today to diagnose breast cancer as early as possible – and with that save lives.

Here's how we came up with it. Simone is a Ladybug, an enthusiastic paddler – and she owns a gardening and landscaping company. The company needed a new tractor, especially for winter services. In the showroom, she saw all the tractors available – orange coloured because that’s the colour of the tractor brand. “Don’t you have any tractors in a NICE colour?” she asked. “Oh, you can have whatever colour you want”, the salesperson answered. “Then I want PINK,” Simone replied. The salesperson was confused at first, but when he heard about the background, he got excited. Simone has suffered from breast cancer two times already, her mother died from the disease when Simone was a child.

This tractor is not just a showcase. It’ll be out on the streets to do its work – like salting the streets when it’s cold and icy outside. But in summer – who knows? Maybe the tractor can draw the Ladybugs’ dragon boat to the next regatta? Either way, it will be an eye catcher. And it already has been – after posting an article in local newspapers, two TV stations came around to take some pictures.

Oh, you want to know what we named the tractor during the baptism? Well, that was an easy decision. The two dragon boats owned by the Ladybugs are called ‘Princess’ (a five-bench boat) and ‘Queen’ (a ten-bench boat). So, you can guess the tractor’s name, can’t you? It’s Prince Salty!