Kentucky Thorough-Breasts Dragonboat features breast cancer survivors

As the sun begins its downward trajectory into nightfall, the lake is still and quiet. Well, almost.

On a drum’s beat, 20 oars simultaneously propel a 40-foot boat through the water. The paddles are powered by 20 women, clad in neon pink T-shirts. Their song breaks the evening silence.

Having cancer really sucks, lose your hair and spend big bucks.

Some have two and some have one, some have none but still have fun.

We love to paddle in the sun. At AJ Jolly we have fun …

The sport is dragon boating and the athletes are breast cancer survivors.

Every Tuesday evening and Saturday morning, a group of survivors and supporters gathers for training.

For the Kentucky Thorough-Breasts, this is no extracurricular endeavor.

Kentucky Thorough-Breasts dragon boat team members Mary Schadler, left, and Brenda Mahoney enjoy the preparation and the work that it takes to create a winning crew team.

It’s serious business.

The team is gearing up for its first competition in two years in Sevierville, Tennessee. But the main event was supposed to be their home competition, the 11th annual Kentucky Dragon Boat Festival, on Saturday, where breast cancer survivor and community teams from across the region were to gather to celebrate “surviving in sync.”

But many of the survivors are immunosuppressed – or just careful – and the day's event was canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

But this group knows a little about getting through obstacles.

Because that’s what these women do – survive. They’ve faced breast cancer and won, and now they use that same strength to endure through rigorous practices, mentally tough competitions and the loss of teammates together. 

It’s about living

Even the stretching is a team effort as the Thorough-Breasts prep for getting out on the water.

Dragon boating saved Janet Rogers’ life.

At 74, Rogers is the oldest member of the Kentucky Thorough-Breasts. When she joined the team in 2012, she had been suffering from chronic fatigue for over five years, partly because of the trauma her body underwent during a lumpectomy and radiation. Due to the fatigue, she said she hadn’t been able to motivate herself to exercise in years. Life’s excitement was dulled.

Source link

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button