United in friendship

Dragonboat competitors celebrate life and a great day on the water.
Dragonboat competitors celebrate life and a great day on the water. Cade Mooney

THEY'RE the women who paddle to prove there is life after breast cancer.

United in their strength and as strong as they are determined, the Sunshine Coast Dragon's Abreast Team took to Maroochy River yesterday for the annual Wishlist Row for Cancer.

Team Tittytittybangbang is made up of pink survivors: women and men who have faced the diagnosis of breast cancer.

Sunshine Coast Dragons Abreast vice-president Wendy Jensen said the annual event was about raising awareness and supporting a great cause.

"It's something very close to all of our hearts. We have all lost someone to cancer, whether it's breast or another type," she said.

Held annually at Cotton Tree Park, Wishlist Row for Cancer raises money for Coast cancer patients and initiatives.

The day was a fun mix of fierce competition and fundraising as teams take to the water in vessels ranging from surfboats, outriggers and stand-up paddle boards to kayaks and dragonboats.

Brisbane Dragons Abreast team member Sharon Thomasson was diagnosed with breast cancer 11 years ago and has become a regular at the event.

"When I was diagnosed I was 34 and there was no history of cancer. It was by accident I got sent to get an ultrasound," she said.

"Missabittatitti (the Brisbane team) came up to introduce us to dragon boating. They threw me on the boat and gave me a paddle.

"It was good because you didn't have to talk about it."

Bound by friendship, the hardest thing for the Dragons Abreast ladies is knowing they will inevitably lose friends to the disease.

"We're here to support those who don't make it as well and their families," Ms Jensen said.

"When they pass on we call them Angels Abreast.

"We will never forget the ones we have lost."

This year's proceeds will go towards funding the Wishlist Sky Bridge, a safe route connecting Reed Charity House to Nambour General Hospital.

Topics:  breast cancer, maroochy river, sunshine coast, wishlist row for cancer



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