October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this year, the members of the Bosom Buddies dragon boat team celebrated with a weekend-long retreat in Liverpool.
“Twenty six of us, all breast cancer survivors, went on this retreat to mark the end of the paddling year,” team member Debbie Pottie says.
Bosom Buddies of Nova Scotia was formed 17 years ago and the group paddles three times per week on Lake Banook in Dartmouth and weekly on Mahone Bay. For most Buddies, the team camaraderie and support of the other survivors are just as important as winning the next race. Dragon boating for breast cancer survivors started 20 years ago in Vancouver, B.C.
Lane’s Privateer Inn was their headquarters for the weekend and the retreat began on Friday night with a dinner and activities in Lane’s meeting rooms. On Saturday, team members went to the new the Sipuke’l Gallery for the construction of a Medicine Bag, embroidered with a pink ribbon, the symbol of breast cancer, a smudging ceremony and native dance demonstration.
“On Saturday afternoon, following or visit to the gallery, we returned to the Inn for a memory wire bracelet workshop with Sally Oliver from Liverpool,” Pottie says. “Sally inspired and provided us with an opportunity to get our creative juices flowing as we all created a bracelet.”
“Our evening Prohibition costume dinner, which was suggested by Susan Lane, was superb. Not only were we in costume but so were the staff from the Inn,” she says. What a ‘celebration experience’ weekend our group of breast cancer survivors had in Liverpool.”
“The town of Liverpool is so fortunate to have Lane’s Privateers Inn and the Sipuke’l Gallery as part of the community – what gifts they are. Thank you so much for the hospitality you showed to all of us. Our team motto is ‘there is life after breast cancer.’ Liverpool embraced us and gave us an experience that supports our motto.”
“Bosom Buddies of Nova Scotia is a group of women living with breast cancer who strive to demonstrate that there is life after breast cancer,” team member Verlene Whidden says, “ We support and care for each other while building physical and emotional health paddling as a dragon boat team.”
Bosom Buddies receives support from Scotiabank, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation- Atlantic and is hosted on Lake Banook by the Austenville Owl’s Club. New members are always welcome and anyone interested can find out more at www.bosombuddies.ca