TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A team of cancer survivors from Tampa is heading overseas for a dragon boat competition.
Tessie Young, a two-time breast cancer survivor, coaches the Pink Dragon Boat ladies.
“All of our team is cancer survivors,” Young said. “It’s very lonely, it’s scary and when we belong to a group like this, that’s the one thing we have in common.”
Young is one of the 28 members making the trip from Tampa to New Zeland to compete in the Dragon Boat Festival hosted by the International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission. The team trains for weeks leading up to the event.
“It’s all about pulling together and pulling in perfect sync and that makes it very graceful and very special,” team member Anita Ytuarte said.
The group feels confident taking on more than 4,000 competitors because they’ve already conquered a battle bigger than any boat race.
“There’s a common bond and ours happens to be scars and bruises and that’s what makes us so special and keeps us together as a family,” Young said.
The Pink Dragon Boat Ladies will race in the competition on April 15 and 16.