THINK PINK: The Flo’s Inspiration dragon boat crew join in the Abreast in a Boat 20th anniversary event at Yamba Marina on Saturday.
THINK PINK: The Flo’s Inspiration dragon boat crew join in the Abreast in a Boat 20th anniversary event at Yamba Marina on Saturday. Debrah Novak

Dragon paddlers keep abreast with cancer-fighting exercise

THERE is nothing better for a woman undergoing breast cancer treatment than repetitive upper body movement.

What amazes Dragons Abreast Clarence Valley (DACV) co-ordinator Gillian Goddard is that 20 years ago breast cancer sufferers and survivors were discouraged from exercising because it was thought to cause lymphoma.

To combat that perception, Canadian doctor Don McKenzie launched the Abreast in a Boat program, which employs dragon boat paddling to get women to develop their upper-body strength.

Mrs Goddard said they were thrilled to take part in the Abreast in a Boat 20th anniversary celebrations on Saturday.

Teams raced from the Yamba Marina to Gorman's restaurant.

"We don't race to win, we race to participate," Mrs Goddard said.

"The race is against breast cancer. We also want to raise the message that early detection is key and it is good to exercise."

Mrs Goddard was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and joined DACV 2007.

"Most of our members have undergone breast cancer treatment," she said.

"But we encourage everyone to join. Everyone has been affected by breast cancer."

Pink was the dominant colour on Saturday as breast cancer survivors and their supporters raced down the Clarence.

Mrs Goddard said they finished the day with a sausage sizzle and a strong sense of camaraderie.

 

DRAGONS ABREAST CLARENCE VALLEY

Dragons Abreast Clarence Valley meets every Sunday at 8.30am at the Yamba Marina.

For more information phone either 0410 711 728 or 6642 5770.

All participants are welcome.



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