May 2008

In It To Win It!
At Lew’s Tackle Shop
This is Darla Bardelli’s mantra.

Darla is a local and national talk-show host and a professional angler.  She has fished all three seasons of the Women’s Bassmaster Tour.  This year at Lake Lewisville, Texas, the first stop of this season’s tour, she had her best finish.  She came in 24th out of a field of approximately 100 anglers.

She did this after spending the past year fighting breast cancer — after being diagnosed with stage 3.  She spent the year with doctors and in clinics undergoing chemotherapy treatments.  All the while, she continued her fishing career and her radio career.  She never let the treatments, the pain, or the mental strife stand in her way of making the first season tournament this year.

Darla also did a tremendous amount of research on what is available to those diagnosed with breast cancer, including those with little or no insurance to help with the overwhelming costs. She continues to share this information with the public, both men and women, in all media available to her.

Only one month after having a radical mastectomy, Darla did compete in the first tournament and found herself in a respected finishing position.  Her competing meant borrowing a boat; she did lose her boat sponsor during the treatment, and driving her vintage yellow jeep to Texas to compete.

This Saturday Darla will do her radio show live from Lew’s Tackle.  Lew provided the boat for Darla and he and his angler buddies (all male) stood around the computer and cheered her on at the weigh-ins.  Lew said they all greatly admired her for a number of reasons.  Some of the reasons are truly in the male vernacular and not repeatable, but they all have tremendous respect for Darla.

Also there on Saturday, helping Darla, will be representatives from Arizona Boating & Watersports news magazine. As initiators of the charitable project “Rock The Boat” to benefit Superstition Search & Rescue, they are particularly grateful to Darla for being a project sponsor.

The winner of this season's Women’s Bassmaster will be “allowed” to fish with the men in the Men’s Bassmaster Classic.  This is a first for women, and Darla intends to be that woman.