12-Angels-Kathy-Bawden-248x300Kathy Bawden was born in Victoria, BC on November 1, 1952. She lived for many years in the United States before returning to live in Vancouver. She was employed by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority until her retirement this July. Kathy’s hobbies included cross stitch, reading, walking, talking to everyone she met, and of course, slot machines!

Kathy joined Abreast In A Boat in 2001, a short three months after her mastectomy. She didn’t know she was supposed to wait a year after treatment! Kathy’s first dragonboat crew was in False Creek with Dr. Don as coach. Over the years, she paddled with AIAB crews in Deas Slough, Fort Langley, Barnet and finally, back to where her heart was — Fort Langley. She is fondly remembered for her kind words of encouragement to her fellow crew-mates and especially the novices. The back of the boat, the engine room, will not be the same. One, two. One, two……PUSH!!!

Kathy’s enthusiasm for dragonboating led to her participation on many composite crews with Abreast In A Boat, Spirits Abreast, Paddling for Life and Kelowna. Kathy loved to travel and paddling was often just an excuse to see the world while spreading the message of leading a full and active life after breast cancer. She traveled extensively throughout Europe, Thailand, Australia and North America. Her sister, Pat, was a constant presence and support for Kathy throughout her life. Pat soon became a familiar face and helping hand at many practices and dragonboat regattas.

Kathy loved the camaraderie and friendship of shared laughter and tears with her fellow paddlers and their supporters. She often said that the Breast Cancer was almost worth it – just to have made so many friends and received so many hugs. Dragonboating gave her the opportunity to meet these individuals she would not otherwise have met or called friend.

Kathy passed away September 21, 2012 of Cancer and will be missed by all her friends.

Gail Bonner