Joining Dragon Boating as a team sport has become my healing power. I am in better shape mentally and physically than ever before. Cancer did not define me. It let me define myself. Beth Walsh
Dragon boating was a dream I did not know I had until I met a few of the women paddler’s and heard their stories and could relate to them. They made me feel like I belonged, that I was strong, and that I was more than my body, or my diagnosis and that there were things I could do, dream and succeed at. Beth Demizio
"I founded Hope Floats in 2009 after defeating breast cancer, to show others that breast cancer does not mean your life is over but that you can begin a great new chapter. You just need to believe in yourself and never give up. Paddling provides a healthy upper body workout, and brings together new friends who have shared your journey, which are vital to the emotional wellbeing of everyone. I can't imagine my life without this crew." Carolyn Swan
I have been a member for only a few years, ( 8 years now since I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer). I so appreciate the strength of all our members. Maureen Kane
"No one ever anticipates getting breast cancer and the emotional toil that this places on a survivor is huge. Whether you have recently completed treatment or have been cancer free for years, dragonboat exercise has been scientifically proven to benefit. The fundraising not only helps the team train, it also helps these women attend other dragon boat venues with other survivors. This comes back full circle to keep each woman motivated to continue to dragonboat thus promoting ongoing physical fitness and emotional wellbeing." Ann Marotta
Hope Floats offers the community a glimpse into our souls through our fundraising. We are proud of who we are and where we are in our lives. Our joy is sharing the message with family, friends and the communities.
Hope Floats welcome the fundraising opportunities, not just for sustainability, but to open our hearts and show the world what commitment, commaradie and courage can accomplish. It also allows us to connect with those kindred spirits who join with us on our journey. Marilyn Bellows
The International Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Festival takes place once every four years and is much more than a vacation to us. It is an opportunity to bond with thousands of breast cancer survivors from all over the world. The camaraderie, love, commitment to wellness and happiness in the face of breast cancer is uplifting and motivating. When we are fundraising for this event, we don’t do it for ourselves, we do it for the crew. Most of us don’t know if we will be attending or not for the first couple of years of fundraising toward the event, but we know we want our crew to get there. Brenda Arndt
Since last summer and with much support from Brenda and all the crew ,I found a sense of purpose to direct my illness and pain .To belong to Hope Floats has boosted my health and mental calm as being sick but not in a visual sense I often was labeled a person that must be able to do this or that because I don't look sick .
Hope Floats were never judgmental only inspiring and kind. I needed this in my life as I did not have these courageous women in my lifetime ever. You gave me back a purpose and a will to carry on everyday when I was so lost in the disease. You brought me clarity and hope and when I had no breath left in me to paddle you supported me with kind words and strength which I have not had in my lifetime.
Sickness sometimes makes people feel lonely and secluded and excluded from things they have wanted to do. Dragon Boating and being part of this crew and the many survivors all over the world is uplifting and exciting. This is my therapy. You are all my therapy...I love the poem . I read it every single day. "There are no sick people on the dock only athletes " I am so proud to be a part of this team .All of you are very special to me. You all helped me to climb out of my shell as I am a crab in the zodiac. Ty I am truly blessed by all and inspired to infinity. Paddles Up ❤ Cathie Kouklenko