In their own words we hear from one off our newest Brazilian teams.
A strong, imposing name that means “safe direction for those who trust it” – that’s the spirit of our Dragon Boat paddling team in Londrina, Paraná (Brazil). The search for better quality of life was what motivated us to organize another project chapter of Dr. Don McKenzie, which also became a place for experience sharing amongst breast cancer survivors in Londrina.
In 2020, after several lectures and meetings discussing the project proposal with the “pink rowers” Cleusa Alonso and Adriana Bartoli, we ended up encouraged and committed ourselves to the practice of canoeing in a Dragon Boat. Especially after seeing the results published on Don Mackenzie’s research which shows that the repetitive movement effect of paddling the Dragon boat could prevent and reduce lymphedema effects.
In the beginning of the learning process, we went through moments of uncertainty. However, Cleusa Alonso's assistance and support gave us confidence that we could move forward. As a result, on October 12th, 2020, our team was born with a first and last name, as Rosa dos Ventos (Rose of the Winds) Dragon Boat Londrina. All this process was amidst the emergence of new attitudes and behaviors created by the Coronavirus pandemic worldwide. It was a completely new experience for us in every sense. Despite the challenges, we kept moving forward with Rose of the Winds.
As we started practicing the Dragon Boat paddling, our team’s desire started growing. We aimed at the realization of a new dream: to have our own Dragon boat. After several meetings and discussions, we decided to acquire the Dragon Boat in May 2021, which demonstrated the team’s courage and determination.
The Dragon Boat market value seemed far from our possibilities, but not from our motivation. After having decided to buy the boat, we joined forces to raise enough financial resources to purchase the Dragon boat, our most precious asset.
The members of Rose of the Winds have been working very hard in several activities to raise money every month to pay for the boat. These activities comprise sale of pizzas, protective masks, strawberry seedlings, donated ceramic crafts, chicken pies, and second-hand clothes. With everyone’s commitment and engagement, we can pay monthly installments.
There are so many moments of harmony, happiness, empowerment, and some difficult times, like our first-time making chicken pies, but even this we are still filled with intense happiness, laughter and joy.
The purchase of the Dragon Boat, however, brought a new legal demand: to whom would the boat belong? Under whose name would the boat be registered? Thus, in August 2021 we founded our own institution, the Institute of Breast Cancer Survivors – Rose of the Winds.
Our first motivation for paddling was to seek the physical benefits and health improvement, and, nowadays, the practice of Dragon Boat is part of our daily life, of our daily routine. Training days are expected as a day of celebration since we meet loved ones and is a place where we feel great both in our bodies and minds. It is just amazing.
We are survivors, we are women of action, and we are sure of our strength and, as a team, we can achieve our goals. Together we will always be strong.
Londrina City has the privilege of having the wonderful Igapó Lake. Spending late afternoon paddling and enjoying the sunset alongside tough and engaging friends has given us more and more enthusiasm and the conviction that we are following the best direction for our health.
Being part of the Rose of the Winds Dragon Boat Londrina team not only brings us a lot of pride, but also, it's rewarding and it's motivating!
Redação em português: Lucy Mary K. Kurtz
Tradução: Cecília Hori