'It’s 25 years of friendship': Chemo Savvy dragon boat team still going strong

A dragon boat racing team made of breast cancer survivors is celebrating 25 years of hitting the water.

Chemo Savvy, a Manitoba-based team, participates in races to help bring awareness about cancer and to encourage others to use the precautionary tools for early discovery and diagnosis.

“It’s 25 years of friendship. Twenty-five years of hope and just showing that there’s a life after breast cancer,” said Sylvie Mathers, a Chemo Savvy team member.

At a ceremony on Wednesday, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman presented Chemo Savvy with a Community Service Award.

“Just know that you’re making a huge impact,” the mayor said.

Over the 25 years, the dragon boat team has raced in cities across the country and around the world.

The team has also seen a significant growth in size. Twenty-five years ago, it started with 35 members, but has grown to 97 current members and 64 alumni.

Mathers said when the team started, they had no idea what they were doing.

“We were so happy just to be in the boat and have a chance to bond together,” she said.

Mathers added that over the years, the team’s technique has evolved.

“We teach our ladies the proper technique and that’s what takes us to the finish line,” she said.