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DIGITAL EDITION

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San Diego Life: By Brandon Herna
ndez • Photography by Martin Mann

She's A Crafty Survivor

Last autumn, Ingrid Qua found herself just lying in bed. On a lark, she decided to give herself a breast exam. To her surprise, she found a lump. Qua called her doctor, who said, "You're young ... it's probably nothing." They scheduled an appointment a month out. Four weeks later, she was diagnosed with an aggressive breed of breast cancer and put on the fast track to a complication-ridden mastectomy, followed by a harsh regimen of chemotherapy.

Before that, Qua's claim to fame was converting her business, The High Dive in Bay Park, from a Bud bar to one of San Diego's hottest craft beer hideaways. Nowadays, suds are not the only focus of her business. She's also started up Chicks For Beer, a unique nonprofit organization that aids individuals who've been touched by cancer.

Many may have crumbled or cowered under similar circumstances. But Qua decided to take charge of the situation. After her mastectomy, rather than wait for her hair to fall out, she held a sold-out fund-raiser at The High Dive. She auctioned off the chance to take a pair of clippers to her raven locks — for more than a grand. Proceeds went to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

That evening, talking with fellow breast cancer survivors, she realized she could make a difference just by being herself.

"In some ways, cancer has been the biggest blessing because it's enabled me to become a much stronger person and very self-assured," says Qua. "People say, 'I can't believe your positive attitude,' but when you're faced with something like cancer, it's how you choose to deal with it that decides whether you're going to take control of the situation or let it take control of you."

Qua's fund-raiser made her a cult hero. Ingrid's One-in-Eight is a collaborative beer brewed with donated ingredients by local brewers Ballast Point and Coronado Brewing Company. Proceeds from that namesake brew are also funneled to Susan G. Komen.

Earlier this year, Mira Mesa-based Green Flash Brewing Company dubbed a Belgian pale ale "Treasure Chest," with monies going toward helping establish Chicks For Beer as an official nonprofit.


Qua acknowledges everyone who has helped her make a difference.

"People think making a difference has to be a big thing, but sometimes the smallest thing you do makes the biggest difference," she says. "People say 'seize the day,' but that doesn't mean going to the ultimate extreme. If you're able to run to the top of the mountain, seize the day that way. If you're able to walk to the top, fine. But even if you're only able to get out of bed to see the mountain, be sure to seize the day."

March 03, 2014

Changing Spaces

in Home Features
Aging in place sounds like a great concept. You can stay in a home filled with cherished memories and near longtime neighbors. But when your house no longer meets your needs, you may need to follow the example of GG and David. The couple, who planted family roots in the hills overlooking La Jolla Shores, have faced lifestyle changes twice over the years, each time deciding to improve their home instead of…
Mar 03, 2014

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Tomato Troubleshooting

in GARDENING
This year, Scott Daigre will sell 75,000 tomato seedlings for the Tomatomania events he produces on both coasts, including one this month at San Diego Botanic Garden. The owner of Ojai-based Powerplant Garden Design says, “I’ve seen it all” after 22 years in business: tomatoes shedding leaves or blossoms, tomatoes with yellow and brown leaves, tomatoes that don’t produce, tomatoes with split fruit,…
Feb 21, 2014

Garden Ease

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February in the Garden

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Jan 21, 2014

Step By Step

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March 03, 2014

Tooling Around the Park

in SAN DIEGO LIFE
Congressman Joe Cannon, one of the longest-tenured GOP Speakers of the House, attended opening-day ceremonies for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Shown here (left), the Republican from Illinois shares an electriquette with San Diego businessman and civic benefactor John D. Spreckels. The pigeon atop his head was one of a huge ceremonial flock released during the festivities. Electric cars may not be as futuristic…
Mar 03, 2014

Eat, Stay, Love

Feb 03, 2014

Honey, We're Home

March 03, 2014

Brussels Sprouts and Pecan Pie

in RECIPES
SUGAR & SCRIBE BAKERY Memories of her Irish grandmother’s roasted Brussels sprouts inspired chef-owner Maeve Rochford of Sugar & Scribe Bakery in Pacific Beach to create this savory vegetarian pie. Always on the menu, it has proved popular with men who don’t equate its nutty goodness with “eating their vegetables,” she says. Brussels Sprouts and Pecan Pie For the pastry 1/4 c. butter, ice cold 1/4 c.…
Feb 14, 2014

Heavenly Dining

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Fogo De Chão

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Warm Spinach Salad

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