The IBCPC is an international organisation whose mandate is to encourage the establishment of breast cancer dragon boat teams, within the framework of participation and inclusiveness. We support the development of recreational dragon boat paddling as a contribution to a healthy lifestyle for those diagnosed with breast cancer.
As the breast cancer dragon boat movement grows internationally, we have a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the disease and about life after breast cancer. We know a full and active life is possible. The IBCPC was created to spread this message. Together we are stronger, our voices are louder and the message is clearer. Being part of the IBCPC provides breast cancer survivors with the opportunity to network with international teams. This enables the teams to share information, receive regular newsletters and updates, and also to share best practices with other teams and to interact with fellow paddlers around the world.
We believe anyone can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and can change the world.
To encourage the establishment of breast cancer dragon boat teams, within the framework of participation and inclusiveness. We support the development of recreational dragon boat paddling as a contribution to a healthy lifestyle for those diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer dragon boat paddling began at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada in 1996. Dr. Don McKenzie, a Professor in the Department of Sports Medicine and exercise physiologist challenged the prevailing medical thinking that women treated for breast cancer should avoid rigorous upper body exercise for fear of developing lymphedema, a debilitating and chronic side effect of treatment. Read more...
IBCPC Steering committee
Meri Gibson of Christchurch, New Zealand is a member of Abreast of Life dragon boat team. Meri has been a major force in the progress of dragon boat paddling in her country since joining her team in 2006.
Meri had been diagnosed and treated for cervical and ovarian cancer in the 1990’s and was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 1999. She underwent a mastectomy and reconstruction in February 2000. She had a second mastectomy and reconstruction in August 2011.Her daily mantra is to live each day to the maximum, whilst being incredibly grateful for every single moment.
Lucia De Ranieri discovered the Florence Dragon Lady team following her diagnosis in 2011and became an active member of the team, mostly in organisation and public relations. She fell in love with the sport the first time she paddled.
Dragon boating allows team members to live in a new way she discovered. She now enjoys drumming and tries to encourage and stimulate her teammates.
Lucia De Ranieri
Janice started paddling with Abreast of Life (ABOL) in 2000, the year after the team started. Her paddling experiences have included, Abreast In A Boat Ten Years Celebration, Vancouver 2005, and joining with CanSurvive from Wellington to participate in Abreast in Australia, Queensland 2007. The last paddling trip was to the World Club Crew Championship in Adelaide in April 2016 where her team performed exceptionally well. Janice has met so many wonderful people through this sport and enjoys catching up with old friends at national and world regattas.
After a breast cancer diagnosis in 2006, Ali was having her course of chemotherapy when she noticed a poster on the wall at the hospital advertising dragon boating. She promised herself when treatment was finished she would check out this amazing looking group of women in pink and learn more about paddling. Ali did just that and after her first come-and-try session, with Dragons Abreast Melbourne (DAM Busters) she was hooked. “From the minute I walked through the door it was like coming home to family, the warmth, compassion and caring nature of these women just overwhelmed me”.
Jo was introduced to Dragons Abreast Australia (DAA) by some friends she had met following her diagnosis, and she has been a member since 2003. Jo was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 at the age of thirty-seven. Following her diagnosis, she chose a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation and later reconstruction. After eight years involved with DAA, Jo says, “I still love what DAA represents. It is important to me that we continue to provide a means for women to transition into full and active lives following their breast cancer diagnosis. I have been witness to some amazing changes in the women I have met both physically and emotionally.”
Betty Solley is a member of Against the Wind (ATW), the breast cancer survivor’s crew of the Philadelphia Flying Phoenix Dragon Boat Team (PFP).
Betty was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, two months after losing her husband to leukemia. She first went out on the boat shortly after completing chemotherapy, and has never looked back. She knows first- hand how dragon boat racing can enhance a survivor’s life in numerous ways and has worked steadily with her team to build an organization that has crews for breast cancer survivors, and several women’s teams spanning multiple decades and levels of competition. Betty is the Assistant Coach of Against the Wind.
JoAnn has strong skills in community relations, presentation of proposals to obtain funding grants and overseeing tasks to completion. Since 2005 JoAnn has grabbed the bull by the horns despite an initial devastating Stage IV diagnosis and has become enmeshed in breast cancer dragon boat paddling as Founder and Captain of the international composite BCS dragon boat team, Linked In Pinks (LiPs). This has led to world travels, being a speaker of science and survivor experiences at cancer events. A mentor of newly diagnosed paddlers both locally and globally, demonstrating strength and collegiality in team building, whilst acting as the IBCPC National representative for the south western region of the USA.
Personally she is very proud to be a wife, mother, grandma, medically retired scientist, dragon boat paddler, and volunteer for various breast cancer events.
Linda is a Rowbust Breast Cancer Survivor Dragonboat team member. The team was formed in early 2000, Linda is an original member of Rowbust, having completed 21 seasons with the team. She has been on the Rowbust Board of directors including, presidency for five years from 2005 to 2010, is the current Rowbust team captain and has been In that position from 2011 to the present time. Linda is also involved with Dragonboat Canada where she is the Chair of the breast cancer survivor development committee and has been in that position from 2012 to the present time. She is also the Canadian breast cancer dragon boat representative providing leadership and direction to the executive director of Dragonboat Canada on the development, implementation and standards for Dragonboat Canada’s breast cancer survivor racing programs. Linda is the go to person for breast cancer survivor dragon boating in Canada.
Linda will tell you what she is most proud of, is that she has been married for 36 years, raised two wonderful sons and whilst being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 she has been healthy ever since.
Jane Frost is one of the twenty-four women living with breast cancer who, in 1996, slipped into a dragon boat, becoming the team Abreast In A Boat (AIAB) and giving birth to a Canadian legend and an international movement. Jane was instrumental in establishing the International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission in 2010. She was elected its first President in 2010 and served until 2018.