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Physical Emotional Spiritual Well Being After Breast Cancer

“A wonderful, warm, loving, vibrant group of breast cancer survivors.”

Cindi F.

A refreshing and enthusiastic organization dedicated to the physical, emotional, and spiritual well being of breast cancer survivors through participation in the sport of dragon boat paddling.
 
The Dragon Divas turn survivors into thrivers after cancer treatment through camaraderie, healthy lifestyle choices, and physical exercise.

What is Dragon Boating?

Dragon boats are long, colorful vessels and are adorned with a dragon head at the front and tail at the back - with room for about 20 paddlers, a drummer, and a stern. Dragon boat racing became connected with breast cancer in 1996 as a result of studies that challenged the prevailing medical thinking that women treated for breast cancer should avoid rigorous upper body exercise.

The studies not only debunked the prevailing myths about exercise; in fact they revealed that the participants experienced physical and mental health benefits as a result of dragon boat paddling. Breast cancer dragon boat groups have been living and thriving proof ever since.

There are currently over 140 Breast Cancer Survivor dragon boat racing teams internationally. The Dragon Divas launched on White Bear Lake in April, 2006 with 8 survivors on board. Since then,the team has grown with each season to the current membership of 70 survivors.

Core Values

As a team of thriving breast cancer survivors, we live our core values:

Health

We emphasize the benefits of exercise in living longer and thriving following a diagnosis of breast cancer and demonstrate how to live a life without limits following the diagnosis.

Awareness

We promote awareness in the wider community about the importance of early detection and the benefits of an active lifestyle in fighting this disease.

Support

We are dedicated to helping survivors attain their personal wellbeing in body and spirit. We support and encourage each other’s journey through mentorship and our unique camaraderie.

Remembrance

We honor those who have gone before us for what they have taught us about living with and dying from this disease, and what their journey has taught our physicians and researchers about curing this disease.

Teamwork

We pull together as a team to live our values and attain our goals.

Honesty & Sportsmanship

We conduct ourselves with authenticity tempered by compassion in the spirit of love. We demonstrate our spirit by being gracious in victory and defeat.

Courage

We empower survivors to thrive as the strongest and most courageous versions of themselves in the boat and in their communities.

Resilience

We face difficulty and adversity with courage, resolve, and unwavering integrity.

Hope

We embrace hope that a cure will be realized within our lifetimes.  Until then, we practice active, healthy lifestyles to promote longevity and counteract the risks of recurrence.

Dragon Divas History

The Dragon Divas were founded in 2006 to honor this study and bring the message of hope to the Twin Cities community that those diagnosed with breast cancer could return to active lifestyles and full quality of life. This was the second team organized in Minnesota and the 100th team internationally at that time.
 
The Dragon Divas breast cancer survivor dragon boat racing team was launched on White Bear Lake in April 2006 with 8 survivors on board. Since then the team has grown with each season, to over 70 members in 2013. Internationally, the total number of breast cancer dragon boat racing teams is currently about 140.
 
For the first 5 seasons, a boat was rented for practices. This was towed from Iowa for the paddling season. In 2010, through the passion and determined effort of all members, the Dragon Divas were able to buy our own boat, along with the life jackets and paddles needed for a team.

Today, the Dragon Divas continue to turn survivors into thrivers after cancer treatment through camaraderie, healthy lifestyle choices, and physical exercise.