The group meets with Dr. Don one week before departure.

We are pleased to share memories of this wonderful journey. 

Five years after our trip to Argentina I look back and have so many wonderful and funny memories.  What an opportunity it was to be a part of supporting the first breast cancer dragon boat team in South America……. We worked long hours while in Neuquén because the teams wanted to ensure we had the best experience and included us in many events.  It was here in Neuquén that I finally realized that it was not the dragon boat skills that was the most important part of this journey, but the sharing of our breast cancer journeys that bonded us together.  

In my mind, the most significant result of this trip was the sense of hope and support we left with the Argentinian BCS teams – that life can go on after diagnosis and that having breast cancer does not mean a person suffers alone. This is the most significant contribution of AIAB to BCS dragon boating everywhere! 

Whether training in boats or chairs, the South American women were fast learners. It was such a joy to share with them a sport that brought life back to so many of us. 

The lovely lady at the training session in Tigre who was so emotional about.…. everything.  She was so happy, so excited, so grateful.  Tears kept coming to her eyes and overflowing. Most of the ladies had moments of emotion, but for her, it was constant.  Such a wonderful person who so appreciated AIAB coming to help in Argentina. 

Seeing them take every detail of dragon boat paddling and putting it to use during our time spent with them was most touching. Showing them how much this sport has to offer through camaraderie, support and of course the joy and laughter. 

The long-lasting memory from the outreach to Argentina is for sure the happiness and expressions of gratitude that we were receiving every day from all the novices from Argentina and Brazil. 

Those ladies could not believe that a group of Canadian sisters would have made all their way to South America to bring them hope and empowerment. And they were expressing that gratitude at every moment.  

Memories that last forever become a treasure. 

Cindy Conway, Ysa Luz, Lynn Sparling, Carol Lee McKay, Yoki Matthews, Adriana Bartoli. 

The very first flower ceremony in Latin America (Tigre, Argentina)
The participants look on as the AIAB crew speaks at the Dragon Boat Clinic in Patagonia.

Four members of Abreast In A Boat and Dr. Don travelled to Fiji in February 2020.  Thank you to Adriana Bartoli, Dolly Devi, Jane Frost, Judy Crumlin, and Dr Don McKenzie, for bringing our message of hope and an awareness of breast cancer to the Fiji Islands. Here is their story.

How do you describe the power of a sport that can change a life in minutes, especially for those who have experienced a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment? You will find the answer in this story.

I will start with a big BULA! – a word you will hear mostly in Fiji. It is accompanied by a wide smile each time you meet a Fijian, together with smiling deep brown eyes and the feeling of being cuddled in paradise.

Every great dream begins with a great dreamer. This story begins in Vancouver, Canada in 2017, where Dolly Devi was treated for breast cancer and joined Abreast In A Boat, a breast cancer survivor dragon boat team established 25 years ago. Dolly felt the empowerment of the sport that allowed her to return to a new and active life and she began to dream about empowering and bringing hope to breast cancer survivors in her homeland, Fiji.

You can say, dream a dream and your dream will come true. So it happened for Dolly…