About Us

Mission and Guiding Principles

Team History

Why Breast Cancer and Dragon Boating


Mission and Guiding Principles

By paddling together, our mission is to promote wellness, and provide hope and partnership to those on the breast cancer journey. We accomplish this through the ancient sport of dragon boat racing. 


We are here:

to offer camaraderie, comfort, and information to each other;
to offer a unique way to get together with other survivors – an unconventional support group;
to challenge ourselves physically in an exciting team sport where we are all doing the same thing at the same time;
because dragon boating allows us to see ourselves as athletes, not patients;
because, although we work hard paddling, we find being on the water soothing and peaceful.
We are hopeful, fun loving, funky and a little different. We are more than survivors – we are alivers! We believe there is a place for everyone who wants to be involved, no matter how old you are--whether you are an athlete or a former couch potato looking to develop a healthy life style – all breast cancer survivors are welcome to join Hope in the Boat!



Team History

 
Hope In The Boat came into being from the dream and determination of our founder, breast cancer survivor Lucille Allegretti Freeman. After learning about dragon boating and its connection to breast cancer, Lucille worked avidly to promote the idea of a dragon boat team in the Capital Region. The local newspaper, The Times Union, published an article on her quest. With no experience in the sport, but a willingness to learn, other local breast cancer survivors joined in to form Hope in the Boat, Inc., in 2008. Team members raised money through a variety of sources (including contributions from our families, friends, community members and fund raising), purchasing our first dragon boat in the Spring of 2009, and incorporating Hope In The Boat as a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit charitable organization. Through 2013 we practiced on the Hudson, with dockage provided by Van Schaick Marina in Cohoes. In 2014, with the closing of the Van Schaick Marina, we found a new home – Blain’s Bay Marina in Cohoes. We continue to paddle twice a week in season on the Mohawk River and are a visible sign of hope for all those on the breast cancer journey.


Why Breast Cancer and Dragon Boating
According to Abreast in a Boat, the first breast cancer survivor dragon boat team, "Dr. Don McKenzie, a sports medicine physician at the University of British Columbia, launched Abreast In A Boat in 1996 to test the myth that repetitive upper-body exercise in women treated for breast cancer encourages lymphedema. Dr. McKenzie believed that by following a special exercise and training program, women could avoid lymphedema and enjoy active, full lives. As the women followed his program, they were carefully monitored by a sports medicine physician and a nurse. Dr. McKenzie's theory was proven correct. No new cases of lymphedema occurred and none of the existing cases became worse. From a medical study involving one boat of 24 women in 1996, the organization grew and has inspired the formation of over 150 teams worldwide."