Simmon's College Allumni Magazine - Article about Diane's story

Alumna Rower Produces Award-Winning Documentary

When Diane Cotting '94SM learned to row at a Simmons crew clinic 11 years ago, little did she imagine that rowing would become the conduit for a program that would touch the lives of thousands of women affected by breast cancer.

A breast cancer survivor herself, Cotting produced an award-winning documentary titled 1 in 9 about nine extraordinary breast cancer survivors who formed a team and rowed together in the Head of the Charles Regatta. The film explores the individual stories of these women, as well as the breast cancer connection that brought them together. The documentary recently was shown at Simmons at an event sponsored by the crew team.

Left - Loie Williams (Cotting's rowing partner from the Style Driven Rowing Club, Boston) and Diane Cotting '94SM.
Photo by Norma Wirtz


The idea for the film came about in October 2000, when Cotting was preparing to compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta. But instead of rowing with her teammates, Cotting decided to find eight other breast cancer survivors from across the country who would be willing to row together.

The team, named "One in Nine" because one out of every nine women was diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S (as of 2000) - was out to prove that, with great coaching, hard work, and determination, women can face the challenge of breast cancer and overcome this disease.

Through her work on this project, Cotting, age 56, discovered a huge gap in the medical system related to post-surgical recovery and cancer wellness. In response, Cotting founded the nonprofit organization, Cotting Connection, which offers resources to breast cancer survivors.

One in Nine team- front to back - Mary Ruddell, Nancy Oken, Diane Cotting '94SM, Michelle Marks, Pat Carr '89SM, Beth Meister, Suzie McIntosh, Joyce Abercrombie & Candace Kendle. Photo by Sport Graphics

Cotting has been asked to present her documentary at numerous colleges and organizations across the U.S.