‘We’re a sisterhood of survivorship’: Winnipeg dragon boat crew celebrates 25 years

A Winnipeg dragon boat crew is celebrating 25 years of competitors, and combating breast most cancers.

Each member of crew “Chemo Savvy” has confronted or nonetheless faces a breast most cancers battle. This 12 months the dragon boat crew is marking 25 years of combating the mighty waters of the Crimson and Assiniboine rivers.

Sylvie Mathers is likely one of the unique members. She fondly remembers the crew’s first race in 1998, “We nonetheless raced with a smile on our face and we completed final, however we had been nonetheless smiling,” she stated.

Mathers says on the very first crew assembly there was a roomful of ladies hoping to paddle.

“They wanted twenty to be within the boat. At the moment they simply drew names out of a hat and my identify bought drawn – quantity 36.”

Ultimately she bought the decision and coaching began.

“We did not have a dragon boat. We skilled in struggle canoes. We did not know the stroke. We simply had been so joyful to be collectively and to inform our story by way of dragon boating.”

Staff president Tammy Mayer says breast most cancers dragon boating was born from analysis that confirmed paddling was okay for these identified with the illness, “Again within the day when a lady acquired a breast most cancers analysis it was understood that you simply could not train anymore, you should not use your higher physique,” she stated.

Mayer says the crew now trains year-round within the gymnasium as properly.

“We’re a sports activities crew. So we’re what we take into account elite athletes however it’s far more than a sports activities crew. We’re a sisterhood of survivorship.”

Brenda Millan joined the crew three years in the past, “I used to be identified in 2018 at 31, triple constructive so I’ve had a number of surgical procedures, a number of instances of chemo, its metastatic most cancers so I have been identified 4 instances,” she stated.

 Millan says dragon boating is the suitable sport for breast most cancers, as a result of the crew works collectively on and off the water.

“When you’re with these ladies you’re enveloped, it is a second household actually.”

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