Hamilton, ON (RPRN) 04/02/12 — MASTECTOMY LINGERIE & MORE – Canada’s Online Mastectomy Shop is proud to support the 2012 Canadian Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Teams. Breast cancer survivor (BCS) dragon boating has been gaining in popularity worldwide and is emerging as the survivor’s sport of choice.
Dragon Boating originated 2000 years ago in southern China. It has evolved into a modern sport where teams paddle a boat festooned with colourful dragon heads and tails. A typical team may consist of one drummer or caller at the bow, a sweep or steerer at the stern and approximately 20 paddlers depending on the size of the boat. Dragon boat festivals or races are held around the world pitting amateur, corporate and professional teams against one another. Many of these festivals now also include races where breast cancer survivor teams race for bragging rights against one another too.
The popularity of the sport amongst breast cancer survivors is due to Dr. Don McKenzie’s pioneering research work at the University of British Columbia back in the mid 1990’s. McKenzie’s research team wanted to study a group of survivors participating in a sport involving rigorous arm exercise to understand how this affected the occurrence or severity of lymphedema in their arms or hands. As Dr McKenzie was an avid rower, dragon boating was chosen and the research eventually evolved into the creation of the first 24 woman breast cancer survivor dragon boat team, Abreast In A Boat. Since that very first team the sport has been rapidly expanding and there are now more than 40 BCS Teams nationally, and many more worldwide.
Lymphedema is a condition where lymphatic fluids are retained due to a compromised lymphatic system. Breast cancer survivors may suffer from lymphedema in their arms or hands as a result of the removal of lymph nodes during their surgery. McKenzie’s research was able to determine that there was a reduced incidence of lymphedema and its effects in the women who were involved in the dragon boating study and the rest as they say is history.
BCS dragon boat teams activities are typically funded by team members, donations, and sponsors. In some cases, teams are registered charities and can issue tax receipts for donations that they receive. Whether these teams exist to promote awareness, or raise money as a charity they all foster fitness, camaraderie, friendship and provide a support network through fellowship with team members.
According to Sue Teschke, store owner “As a survivor myself supporting breast cancer survivors is something I feel strongly about. We have staff members and suppliers who are paddlers on the local dragon boat team Knot-A-Breast and I have seen first-hand the popularity and fitness benefits of BCS Dragon Boating. I wanted to help raise awareness of the sport, while at the same time helping out the teams themselves.” With this in mind the All Up – Take It Away promotion evolved.
If you are a breast cancer survivor and would like to find more information on joining a team you can view the teams already registered at www.mlam.ca, or visit
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Eligible 2012 Canadian Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Teams can register and upload a team picture at www.mlam.ca.
All Up – Take It Away!