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Paddling For Pink At Dragon Boat Festival

Updated: Thursday, September 5 2013, 05:00 PM EDT
Hundreds will be making waves this weekend, while also fighting a common complication after breast cancer treatment.
 
Local 12's Liz Bonis tells us about how they are Paddling for Pink at the fourth annual Dragon Boat Festival in today's Medical Edge.
 
This is video, courtesy of the Kentucky Thorough Breasts.  They were the first to start a team of dragon boat racers, made up of breast cancer survivors.  Now, there are teams all across the country who "paddle for the pink" in teams of twenty, in boats with a carved dragon head and tail.
 
Brenda Mahoney is a member of this team and a breast cancer survivor.
She had successful treatment seven years ago.

"I ended up with a mastectomy, and did it bilaterally."

Now, she continues to compete for the cause. She knows, in this journey, friends are your lifeboat.

"It takes awhile to build up a team, because you have to have a lot of crazy women who want to work really hard and get out and paddle."
 
Part of the reason, however, they chose this activity, has to do with a common complication from breast cancer. Any activity can make a difference, but this one plays a special role in reducing the odds.

Tony Carle, St. Elizabeth Healthcare:
"There is a lot of literature out there that paddling helps with decreased lymphadema and so this group got together and decided that dragon boat racing, and paddling, would be very healthy for them."
 
Lymphadema often causes arm swelling in breast cancer survivors.
Research shows, for many, this paddle motion or other arm movement helps reduce it.

So, while the team may have started for good therapy, it has continued for
good reason.

Brenda Mahoney says the Thorough-Breasts send a message that gives paddling a whole new purpose.

"You're not alone, you have people who are with you, you have people who are supporting you."

The Dragon Boat Races are this Saturday, September 7th, at A.J Jolly Park in Campbell County.

Paddling For Pink At Dragon Boat Festival


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