For two decades, a group of breast cancer survivors in Kelowna have stuck together and shared their love for dragon boat paddling, while spreading breast cancer awareness.
The 38 member breast cancer padding team “Bust ‘N Loose”, participates in dragon boat festivals each year to continue the fight against breast cancer.
In the 20 years, team members have raised $31,000 for the B.C. Cancer Foundation to help drive local breast cancer research and care.
The president of the Kelowna Breast Cancer Paddling Team Lynne Heidt heard of the paddling team before she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 at the age of 58 and after becoming breast cancer-free, she was then diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2018.
Cancer didn’t slow down Heidt, when she was well enough she jumped on board and joined the team.
“As soon as it was physically possible, I joined the team,” she said. “I’ve been fortunate to enjoy the camaraderie, fitness, and fun for 11 years since.”
The team has made its way around the world competing internationally—including in Germany, Italy, and Australia.
“We strive to support breast cancer research and care and are very proud to have been so successful in our fundraising efforts,” she said. “It’s also allowed us to create awareness in our community and abroad as well.”
Lynne said the group is always seeking breast cancer survivors to join the team.
“Our goal is to inspire people diagnosed with breast cancer to live each day to the fullest and send a positive message that they can continue to grow stronger while having fun,” she said. “We want survivors to benefit from the support of this team and celebrate a future without breast cancer with us.”
The ladies will be paddling in the Kelowna Dragon Boat Festival on August 24th.