After an encounter with breast cancer, a number of survivors and their families choose to remember by taking up a sport. They do it as a way to live healthier and a way to honor the struggle that is survivorship.
Dragon Boating is slowly making a splash in the world of breast cancer advocacy. The Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival Society, for example, has experienced a steady growth of support since their first event in 2003. Since then, they have donated over $700,000 to the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation and the Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. The funds raised are used to help in the diagnosis, treatment, and support of breast cancer patients.
This year’s event was held at the Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo, BC. The two-day event was filled with fun, laughter, and remembrance. Holly Wylie, the coach of the Nusa’Lon Dragons, has come not only to win but to pay tribute to her loved ones. In a recent interview, Holly as been asked why she keeps coming back to the event year after year. This is what she had to say:
“My sister is a breast cancer survivor, also my best friend died of breast cancer and that’s how I got involved in this sport … and they started this event for breast cancer research, so for me, it meant everything. It meant to honor her and I still come out and honor her every year.”
Dragon Boating is the perfect example of what it is like to win the fight against breast cancer.
It embodies the need for teamwork, perseverance, and passion in order to surpass the challenges that a diagnosis may bring.
Sixty teams from Canada and the United States will be racing towards the finish line. As always, the event is expected to be action-packed and full of surprises. The event’s main sponsor, Save-on-Foods has been with the event since 2003.
The funds raised were used by the Nanaimo Community Hospice Center to help support programs for the “dying, care-giving, and grieving”. Just in 2016, the volunteers rendered over 30,000 hours to aide the 436 new clients of the center! Amazing work everyone!
Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival not only became a place to celebrate life but also to ensure that survivors are getting the help they need. If you’re interested in joining the cause, you can start your own team today and sign up for next year’s event!