Chris Byrne Sticks it to Breast Cancer

Chris Byrne

For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer. We can all probably think of someone we know that has been affected somehow by breast cancer. One in eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. So far in 2011, over 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S. About 39,000 of those women will die from this disease.

Surprisingly, these death rates have been decreasing since 1990 — especially in women under 50. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness. In 2011, there are more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. and this number continues to grow with the efforts of foundations such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.

A well-respected custom cue maker from Englewood, Colorado is leading a quest of his own to raise money for this organization. Chris Byrne sets his sights high for a cause he believes so strongly in. "Stick it to Breast Cancer" hopes to raise over $10,000 for breast cancer by auctioning high-end custom cues from cue builders all around the country.

About seven years ago, Byrne's mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and after his good friend Bob McBride's wife passed away from the same illness he knew it was time to put his plan to action. "It makes you realize how short life is. I could've lost my mom. I feel very blessed that she's still around. And then with my friend's wife, she was only in her late 30's," Byrne recalls.

Byrne began spreading the word at the 2010 Super Billiards Expo, recruiting his fellow cue makers to build a unique cue for his cause. Many agreed and the response was overwhelming. This exclusive collection includes cues from such notable cue makers as Southwest, Ron Haley, Jacoby, Brent Hartman of BHQ, Eric Crisp of Sugartree Cues, Tony Zinzola, Mike Webb, Murray Tucker, and possibly Bill Schick. "There are actually quite a few more guys that wanted to donate but couldn't, just because of the time constraints. Some of these guys are on a 10 year waiting list," explained Byrne.

Among these original designs, Jacoby's one of a kind cue has a pink coral and red coral ribbon inlay. The Jacoby logo is also in pink and it's personally hand signed by David Jacoby himself. Southwest cues also engraved the ribbon logo into the joint pin. These auctions will run through the end of the year.

The first two auctions have already raised over $4,300. A new auction will run every 5-10 days for a new collectible custom cue worth anywhere from $500 to $3,500 with 100% of the proceeds going toward Susan G. Koman for the Cure®. In conjunction with the auction, a raffle will also be running through the duration of the fundraiser. Supporters will receive a raffle ticket for every $10 donated. The idea for the raffle was a last minute bonus when Byrne generously contributed an extra cue of his own. "Mine is the raffle cue and I also have one in the auction. I wanted to do something to help out the people that couldn't afford to bid on the big cues."

Byrne has been making cues since 1994 and builds about 25 cues a year, focusing on the higher end player cues. Check out his work at More information on the Stick it to Breast Cancer fundraiser can be found at See current and past auction listings, make a donation for a chance at the raffle cue, and learn more about breast cancer.

Breast Cancer statistics provided by the nonprofit organization,, the leading online resource for breast health and breast cancer information and support, and a dynamic peer support community. Also, learn more about Susan G. Koman for the Cure® at, whose mission is to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening, and treatment. Special thanks to Sean Thamrongpradith and Don Posri for their assistance with the "photo shoot."