Breast cancer thrivers!
ChemoSavvy, a breast cancer dragonboat team based in Winnipeg
by Regina Ramos-Urbano
“ChemoSavvy,” a breast cancer dragonboat team based in Winnipeg is racing in the Canadian National Championships this July 18 to 21 in Regina, Saskatchewan. All team members are breast cancer survivors and will be competing against some of Canada’s very best in the Women’s, Seniors and Breast Cancer divisions.
The team has been training very hard on dry land at Balmoral Hall since the first week of February, and on the water, twice a week since May, to be ready for the 200m, 1000m and 2000m races. Chemo Savvy is considered a bit of an underdog in these races since they will be competing with teams that do not have to wait so long for their waterways to thaw. Even so, these athletes are an extremely fit, active and well-trained group. Chemo Savvy team members are courageous spirits, committed and determined to thrive, each having fought and won their lives against cancers.
Many women, when they are first diagnosed with breast cancer fear their lives are over. Chemo Savvy’s vision is to embody survivorship and hope. They try to stay active, eat healthier and vow to never give up until the race is won.
Abby Parto Boehm, a new addition to the team agrees.
“Chemo Savvy is a supportive sisterhood that promotes a healthy, physical lifestyle. They’re all amazing women who I admire and strive to be like.”
“I am a survivor, I am Hope, I am ChemoSavvy!” New member Abby Parto Boehm with Regina Ramos-Urbano, a four-year veteran.
Formed in 1997, Chemo Savvy currently has approximately 75 members (70 active paddlers), and 53 alumni. Members come from all areas of Winnipeg and surrounding rural communities including Rosser, St. Pierre, Gimli and Niverville. Over the years the team has raced and won many festivals in Canada and the United States. The team has also competed in the World Breast Cancer Paddling Commission Regattas in Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and Florence, Italy in 2018.
In addition to the Canadian National Championships, Chemo Savvy will be also be racing this year in Calgary, August 11 to 13, and in Winnipeg September 8 and 9 at the Forks. Come and cheer on the team!
For information on joining the Chemo Savvy Dragonboat team, email email@example.com or check out their website at chemosavvy.ca