I have just been reading about an inspiring group of women, who call themselves the Dragon Divas. They are dedicated to changing the image of breast cancer survivors in their communities by demonstrating they can lead full and active lives as survivors. Read this extract from their blog to learn how the group came about:
“The first breast cancer survivors’ dragon boat team, Abreast in a Boat, was established in Vancouver, BC, Canada in 1996. Dr. Don McKenzie, a sports medicine physician at the University of British Columbia, launched the team to challenge the belief that repetitive upper-body exercise in women who had been treated for breast cancer initiates or aggravates lymphedema.
Until Abreast in a Boat was formed, team members had been cautioned by physicians and physical therapists to refrain from engaging in upper-body repetitive motion because of the risk of developing chronic lymphedema. The Vancouver group, under Dr. McKenzie’s observation, followed a program of exercise and strenuous physical exertion without any new cases of lymphedema developing or existing cases worsening.
The original Abreast in a Boat team of 25 women and one boat has grown to five teams with five boats, all based in Vancouver BC. This group has encouraged other survivor teams throughout the world to form and compete. Currently in the United States, at least 16 teams actively provide unique floating support and exercise programs for people who don’t want to just sit in a support group – those who want to breathe fresh air and do something positive as an example for those living with breast cancer.”
Dragon Divas: http://dragondivas.wordpress.com/about/