From Ruth de Castro, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
Almost three years ago, on October 7th 2018, Catalina Palacio established Dragon Boat Colombia Foundation in Cartagena. The organization's purpose is to connect all women in Colombia that would like to change their lifestyle after surviving breast cancer. Paddling and sharing their stories went hand in hand. And as result, a big group of women were 'bitten by the dragon' and embarked on this adventure.
Sadly in July 2019, we lost Catalina to breast cancer. However, her legacy lives on, in both the hearts and minds of all the survivors she inspired.
Late last year, we are celebrated our 2nd anniversary. We had a lot of activities and experiencies that we shared with other BCS Dragon Boat teams around the world. We learned about women rights with Rubiela Valderrama, a recognized activist in Colombia. The ‘Rock Stars with Cancer’ was a really interesting subject from oncologist Dr Haroldo Estrada! We learned how cancer can get even the Hollywood stars, no one is exempt. We enjoyed our ‘Cooking in Pink’ event with the great caribbean chef ‘AJA CHECHI’, as we prepared a delicious pink hummus to commemorate our color. We also had a conversation with Dr. Ana Casas from Spain, pioneer in BC investigation with three of our Survivors.
In this celebration we had the opportunity to share our BCS stories, we chatted, enjoyed and even met around the boat and went on a pink bike ride with dragon mask and umbrellas, to mark our anniversary in honor of Catalina and Dragon Boat Colombia, two fundamental pillars that guide us in this arduous way.
It has been a year full of new challenges but what remains intact is the desire to go out in our dragon boat and overcome adversity.
PADDLES UP, Cartagena Dragons.