Abreast In A Boat

Abreast In A Boat

May 19, 2010 13:30 ET

Abreast In A Boat: A Floating Support Group

Breast Cancer Survivors Use Dragon Boating to Show They Can Live Full Lives

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 19, 2010) - Yes, there is life after breast cancer, and those who survive this serious disease are proving it through the rigorous sport of dragon boating.

Abreast In A Boat is a group of Metro Vancouver women who are living with breast cancer. Come watch these brave women compete in the False Creek Women's Regatta on May 29, 2010. In addition to racing against other regatta competitors, there will be a special Breast Cancer Challenge Race involving nine breast cancer crews.

"This special race will be followed by a flower ceremony – generously sponsored by Scotiabank – where we will remember those who have lost their own personal race, and to encourage those in treatment to know there is life after breast cancer," said Barb Lea, vice-chair, communications, for Abreast In A Boat.

"We all dearly love the sport and are committed to raising awareness about this disease. Our goal is to one day 'throw off our pink shirts' as a sign that breast cancer has been cured."

Abreast In A Boat started 14 years ago with Dr. Don McKenzie, a physician with the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre in Vancouver. He was determined to find out if breast cancer survivors could enjoy full and active lives without increasing their risk of lymphedema – a painful and incapacitation swelling of the arm and chest area that was thought to be connected to repetitive upper-body movements.

Dr. McKenzie's medical study began with one boat of 25 female dragon boaters, and they successfully helped prove his theory was correct.

"When the original project ended, Dr. McKenzie thought his job was done. Little did he know that he had awakened what is known as The Dragon Spirit," said Lea. "The courageous women in his study group were not going to put down their paddles quietly. This is when Breast Cancer Dragon Boating began."

Just one year later, Abreast In A Boat was formally launched in 1997 with three boats and more crews developing throughout Metro Vancouver. The Dragon Spirit has spread and today Abreast In A Boat can proudly claim there are more than 150 registered Breast Cancer Dragon Boat organizations throughout the world.

"The organization welcomes survivors of all age groups and, yes, each year our members seem to be getting younger," said Lea.

Abreast In A Boat is a group of women from Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and the surrounding metropolitan area, living with breast cancer. We participate in dragon boat racing to make a difference – to raise awareness about breast cancer and to encourage those living with breast cancer to live full and active lives. Abreast In A Boat is a non-profit society. Our goal is to send a message of hope to people living with this disease and to those who support them.

For more information, visit our website: www.abreastinaboat.com.

(Special thanks to Marketwire for distributing this news release.)

Contact Information