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18/10/2021

Donegal breast cancer survivors and supporters dance in the rain to raise awareness

Dancers For Cancer was held to mark the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Donegal Town Breast Cancer Awareness

The Perry family among those taking part in Dancers For Cancer in Donegal Town

Donegal Dragons certainly epitomise the spirit of the saying ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.’

A watersports club for breast cancer survivors and supporters, the club marked the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a very special event.

On Friday evening as the rain bucketed down, most people were settling down in front of the fire. But members of the Donegal Dragons and their families dressed themselves from top to toe in pink to take part in Dancers For Cancer at the pier in Donegal Town. 

Led by Sarah Marie McDevitt of Pinehill Studios, those present were completely undeterred by the inclement weather. The event was a celebration of life and of the incredible support that exists within the club and the wider community.

And while it was very much a fun event, the underlying message was a serious one - breast cancer remains prevalent, and it affects women and men of all ages. The message of this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to talk about breast health with at least two people.

People are reminded to check their breasts regularly - one suggestion is to do so on the same date every month - so that any changes can be recognised and checked out as soon as possible.

Early diagnosis can make a world of difference to the outcome.

Dragon boating and breast cancer

Donegal Dragons was founded by breast cancer survivor Deborah Bonner after she heard about the benefits of the sport at a talk by Jim McGuinness at Relay For Life.

It has been a big part of Chinese culture for more than 2,000 years, and is growing ever more popular across the world.

Dragon boating is proven to be highly beneficial in recovery from breast surgery and in reducing lymphoedema caused by such surgery. Since Canadian research scientists set up the first breast cancer survivors dragon boat team back in the 1990s, participants have had a significantly lower than average recurrence of breast cancer.

The activities of Donegal Dragons are endorsed by breast surgeon at Letterkenny University Hospital, Mr Michael Sugrue. The physical benefits are significant, and so too is the emotional support and the feeling of being part of a really special club as people rebuild their lives after cancer or other life traumas. 

More information including contact details can be found on the Donegal Dragons Facebook page. 

Donegal Dragons thank the Abbey Hotel, the Blueberry Tea Rooms, the Central Hotel and Leisure Centre, and Fou Tees for their generous contribution of spot prizes; Sarah Marie McDevitt of Pinehill Studios; and everyone who took part and who donated to a bucket collection for the North West Breast Clinic.

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