Sandy passed away on February 3rd 2005 at the age of 49.
No one person in Abreast In A Boat played a more integral part in spreading our message and encouraging the formation of new crews than Sandy Smith. She joined AIAB in 1997 having recently moved to the Vancouver area from Ontario with her husband Paul and daughters Lauren and Sarah. Sandy worked part-time as a physiotherapist and, when introduced to AIAB and paddling, she became devoted, not only to the exercise but to her new friends.
She became a member of the first AIAB board and served as the first Community Chair. As our message of ‘leading a full and active life after breast cancer’ spread, her Community Chair position became Global. Sandy lovingly supported and networked with teams across Canada (including a cross-Canada tour), U.S.A., New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and, most recently, England. All who knew her around the world were touched by her amazing spirit and motivation.
Sandy was an extremely competent paddler and worked tirelessly for the Society. To recognize the worldwide nature of dragon boating for breast cancer survivors and to honour and acknowledge Sandy’s contribution, the last race of the Ten Year Abreast Celebration in June 2005 was titled the Sandy Smith Global Race. This race will be continued whenever and wherever there is a World Breast Cancer Dragon Boat festival.
The world will not forget—the second seat, right hand side will always have a special angel seated there.