Years ago, I had two breast cancer scares. Luckily, for me, they were just that — scares — but I will always remember that traumatic fear as I waited for my results. I am so grateful to all of the incredible health-care workers in Manitoba who helped guide me through the process to check in on my health.
It is incredibly important for all of us to check in with our doctors and health care practitioners regularly.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers). While breast cancer in men is rarer, it can still occur.
Chemo Savvy is an amazing dragon boat team made up of breast cancer survivors. And you don’t need experience in dragon boat racing to join their team — some members are new to the sport entirely. Team members spend three months participating in indoor training exercises before trying the real thing on the Red River. After practising hard, Chemo Savvy participates in annual dragon boat races.
Those of you who have seen this team in action might be interested to know about the unique and colourful paddles used to push the dragon boat toward victory. Chemo Savvy holds an annual paddle-painting workshop for its team members. What a great way for members to express their style and uniqueness through art!
This amazing group is meant to offer fun, exciting experiences to people undergoing a similar challenge. Surviving breast cancer is a feat in itself. But undergoing the challenges of cancer can have an enormous impact on a person. Joining a team like Chemo Savvy, participants get the opportunity to exercise, have fun, laugh, and bond with others who have similar experiences.
This impressive team also holds fundraisers in the community, walks, interviews with the media, speaking with classrooms, public information displays, golf tournaments, fashion shows, parades and so much more.
One special fundraiser is their sale of dragon wing begonias. As an avid gardener, I absolutely love begonias and the dragon wing begonia — Chemo Savvy’s signature flower — is stunning. These gorgeous begonias are available throughout of May and proceeds go to making sure that the fees for participants on the Chemo Savvy team stay affordable.
The Chemo Savvy dragon boat team is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Many great teams make up the dragon boat races here in Manitoba, but it is Chemo Savvy that holds a special place in my heart for the great work it does to support breast cancer survivors.
To celebrate this anniversary, I’ve arranged for the tower at the top of the legislature to soon be lit up pink in honour of breast cancer survivors.
Please check out www.chemosavvy.ca for more information on this amazing organization.
Roblin constituency report
Myrna Driedger is the PC MLA for Roblin.