Breast cancer survivors across the country have discovered a wonderful way to exercise and at the same time, have the time of their lives. Itís called dragon boat racing!
Itís estimated that one in eight women in our province will have breast cancer at some point in their lives. The majority of them will have a dramatically increased risk of lymphedema as a result of their cancer treatment. Few will know much about this troublesome side effect until they actually experience it. Research shows that exercise and a healthy lifestyle can help fight breast cancer and lymphedema. And research shows that dragon boating is especially helpful.
On October 30, 2006, dragon boating for breast cancer survivors got its start in Newfoundland and Labrador. Since that time, we have built a strong organization with a team of about 60 members. We are very proud to be the first breast cancer survivor team in North America to build its own dragon boat.
With support from some terrific sponsors, we have a beautiful site on Octagon Pond in Paradise, with twin docks built specially for us and four fibreglass boats in which to train. In August 2008, we achieved one of our earliest goals when 30 team members competed in our first dragon boat festival in New Glasgow, NS. Most recently we were thrilled to attend our second International Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Festival, in Sarasota, FL. But this is just the beginning. The Avalon Dragons have many exciting plans for the future!
Avalon Dragon Boating members believe that dragon boating sends a powerful message that people living with breast cancer can lead full, active, healthy lives. We hope this message is a source of hope and inspiration to others who are just starting on their cancer journey.