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in the LOOP The Dragons Abreast Australia e-newsletter - March 2013

Cover Photo: Juggernauts & Dragonthreads

A Chat With The Chair...

Well another month is now coming to a close.

Firstly I would like to offer my congratulations to those of our DAA paddlers who have either been selected for the State team or their local Club teams. No doubt you are currently hard into training for the upcoming National Titles to be held in Penrith mid April and also for the State Championships that are also being held prior to the Nationals. It’s hard work and requires dedication and commitment to attain this level in your sport. It also proves that you can still be ‘one of the best’ despite a diagnosis of breast cancer. As a full member of AusDBF, DAA has the right to participate in the Nationals opening ceremony and to be represented by a flag bearer. Through communication with coordinators, I requested the names of all survivor paddlers who would be at the Nationals so that a flag bearer could be chosen. From the 32 names that I was given (from 9 member groups), I am very happy to announce that Diane Bradshaw from DA Canberra has been chosen to represent DAA. On the point of communications, I am rather disappointed with the level of response from the member groups overall. For example, from our 37 member groups, only 13 groups responded to my request for names of paddlers, advising either names of survivors (9 groups) or to say they did not have members attending (4 groups). The lack of response was also evident when a request was sent out for a stock take to be done by member groups of any DAA

consignment stock they might hold. Only 9 groups replied, a very poor response from 37 groups overall. To make the lives of the administration team of DAA a bit easier, could I please ask that you respond when asked for information, even if it is to say, for example, that you do not hold any stock. When there is no response, we are not adequately informed to make the best choices and/or decisions. Many thanks to those groups who do reply – it is very much appreciated. I have recently enjoyed time in Townsville with family and, while there, took the opportunity to meet with the DA Townsville girls joining with them for an evening paddle on their beautiful spot at Loam Island on the Ross River. Thank you ladies (and Tony) for the invitation and for a very pleasant paddle and chat (photo below). Over time, I hope to be able to personally meet with

other groups when an opportunity arises. I am looking forward to meeting many of you at the Canberra Convention in May where at least 23 groups will be represented. If your group has not yet nominated a representative, I would ask that you reconsider as the Convention is an excellent opportunity to meet with the Board and the CEO, be involved in two way communications, and be updated on what is happening in our unique organisation. It is also a great opportunity to network with other groups and, most importantly, renew old friendships made through DAA and have a great time. As a national organisation with a very widely dispersed membership, communication is the key to the success of Dragons Abreast so please do not hesitate to contact our CEO, Brett, or me if you have any concerns or anything that you wish to discuss or clarify. Kind regards, Sue

From the CEO’s Desk...


hope that everyone has had a fun, safe and happy easter break. During March I've been making phone calls to all our coordinators, unfortunately it seems I was a little ambitious expecting to get all of the calls completed within 1 month so my calls will continue during April, for those coordinators that I haven’t spoken with yet I apologise for the delay and you will hear from me shortly. At this stage there are still quite a few member groups who haven't returned their completed update forms, if you are one of the groups that have not returned your update please do so as soon as possible so that I can ensure our records are accurate. During my discussions with coordinators it has come out that there has been some confusion regarding email adresses, or more specifically our & domain extensions. To clarify all of the internal DAA email addresses hold a extension in recognition of our official charity status. All group email addresses are followed by the extension. Last month I also received a few emails asking how to print and/or download the newsletter in its new book format. Please note that there is a special link under the cover image in the newsletter email that will take you to a page in which you can print or download in PDF format using the icons shown below.

To print publication

The new format also has reading advantages for those who have ageing eyes that have seen better days, pardon the pun! By using the magnifying glass symbol when reading in the book format you can increase the size of the font as big as you like. A great feature considering that 90% of our member base are over 50. As of Tuesday 2nd of April our new admin assistant, Carol Williams, will be answering calls on the national office numbers. I ask for you to be as patient with her as you have been with me whilst she learns the ropes. Planning has begun for the festival in October and there are many other exciting new developments that will be communicated in coming editions of “In the LOOP”. In December this year Dragons Abreast will turn 15. An important milestone deserving of recognition and hence plans are also being made for our anniversary celebrations. The 2013 Annual Convention draws ever closer and I’m very excited about meeting so many group representatives face to face. The numbers confirmed so far are fantastic and I can’t wait to share my vision for the future of Dragons Abreast with everyone.

To Download Publication Warmest regards, Blessing of the Dragons, Harmony Day NT

Cover Story...


Dragon Threads, Jenny Howlett, Margot Bond and Lorna Hawkey

hat a way to start the “Chinese New Year” We all finally arrived at the World Trade Centre Wharf, not without it’s drama’s though. Linda, Margot, Sara, Zonda, Alanna, Ros, Mary (and Gabrielle) manage to arrive relatively stress free. Jenny (that would be me) arrived after 3 hours sleep, starving hungry and completely confused about everything. Eating (a stolen muffin, ask me if you want that story) whilst warming up for the first race, we hardly had time to scratch ourselves before the fun began. The dragonmaster (David put together a combined womens premier team for us, 22 in the boat, total shock for us Dragonthreads) and Ruth, another DM, had us moving and shaking, faking a dry paddle run on land, we were almost exhausted before we even got in the boat. We got some great ideas on how to warm up, now all we need to do is remember them. Yes! I have forgotten someone, a panicked phone call arrived from Lorna, 5 minutes before warm up. “I’m lost, I’m lost” “In Flinders Street” (totally wrong direction) then nothing, her phone went dead. Lorna managed to get on to Ros, one bar left, praying to get direction, by this point from anyone!!! We went to marshalling all lined up and no Lorna, we had written her off and were bitterly disappointed. But the boat must go on… So we loaded up, (Mary shaking in her shoes no idea what to expect) I was up the front on my best behaviour (go figure) and we were off. Paddling up to the line, ready to experience our first CNY 200m sprint. The anticipation is amazing, trying to line up in the

water with the other boats, loud speakers blaring instructions, trying to stay in the “are you ready” position, and then the Buzzer, Banger, beeper, a mixture of all those sounds together and we are off and paddling. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 then quickly 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,

12, 13, 14, 15 and then Long, Longg, longgg, longgg, for a whole 60 to 80 seconds = 200metre sprint depending on how in time we are and then... it’s over and we’re huffing and puffing just like the 3 bears, no wait, the three little pigs, no wait, the big bad wolf (finally) (I know I Know, I’m not funny) So then it’s 3 cheers for the other boats, off we get and debriefing starts. Considering we’d never paddled together, and we hardly ever paddle in a full boat, we did pretty well. However, on the way to the debriefing, who is walking beside me, smiling and breathing heavily….. Lorna, yes… She’d made it. Parked at the Hilton (across the river) came running up as we were launching, someone asked “Are you warmed up?” Lorna responding, “I’ve just sprinted from the Hilton to get here, YES I’m warmed up” woo hoo she’d made it. I forgot to mention, the officials forgot to time the first one, so we had to do it again, I was wrapped. And this time we all knew what to expect. Next we changed hats and prepared to paddle with DA team the “JUGGERNAUTS” from Geelong. Strangely enough I was in seat 2 again and couldn’t see whether we were in time or not, but it felt good (when we stopped haha). It was a beautiful Melbourne day, blue skies hot sun, under current in the river, some of the boats went right off course during the race (even some of my sweeping looked good by comparison) On our way to the start line with the Jugs, an off course dragon boat, was heading full steam ahead and almost collected us. All the ladies hearts were in their mouths (instead of their feet, haha that’s usually my job) however, the adrenaline must have assisted our paddling, that will become self explanatory, read on.

We watched the races, had lunch, listened to a truck load of prayer and singing by the chinese monks and dancing dragons welcoming the “year of the snake” and then back on the water. Just as we got in the Juggernauts boat (we had back to back races - no rest for the wicked) Bangles (team captain of the Jugs) advised that we,….yes, WE HAD THE FASTEST TIME IN THE 200M DA RACE SO FAR….. 1 minute, 7 seconds and .16 of whatever comes next, and if we put in, we might just win “under pressure”. We all wanted to put in to get the best result….wait for it 1 minute 8 seconds and .12 etc. (although Bangle said we looked a little bit out of time and perhaps a tad untidy, but again, I was up the front and it still felt good) WOOOOOO HOOOOOO YABBA DABBA, WE SUNG THE DRAGONTHREADS SONG, (BADLY), WE JUMPED AND SCREAMED AND CHEERED, WE ALL HAD GOOSE BUMPLES AND YOU COULD NOT WIPE THE SMILES FROM OUR FACES. but wait… there’s more, we did not win without controversy. Linda, Margot and I hung around for the presentation, The Gippsland Waratahs were officially welcomed by Trevor, (lovely man) the President of Dragon Boats Victoria, how embarrassing with another newly formed team, how exciting.

one of the winning races Juggs and Threads

Announced that the “Juggernauts” were 3rd? say what Dambusters 2nd and honestly can’t remember who’d won. Margot and I nearly cried, surely we had not got the times wrong……. Then they said wait…. And the trophies were returned….. “juggernauts” were 2nd, Phew….. at least we got something after our ridiculously excited earlier carry on. And Dambusters were 1st…..But wait there’s more Bangles said, “they have still got it wrong, it’s embarrassing, but we will have to tell them”, I said “nothing embarrasses me, lets tell Final count down done, and ½ an hour of compli- them” Even the Dambusters knew that we’d won. mentary drinks offered from David Wong (owner) after When we checked the times… presentation, was announced. We could all hardly wait then for the results. The DA race was the last race Juggernauts total time 2 minutes 16 seconds and .28 presentation and Margot and I were waiting with baited Dambusters total time 2 minutes 16 seconds and .61 breath. Bangles had said we could collect the trophy because we had never won before. So Jeff baby THANK GOODNESS ALL THAT EXCITEMENT AND (came up with dragonmasters and coached our first THOSE SMILES WERE NOT IN VAIN Sunday Funday)

Then the most amazing thing happened. The Juggernaut girls, (and I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes as I type and relive this moment) told Margot and I that we (the Dragonthreads) could take the trophy home. We could not believe it, the generosity, camaraderie, support, understanding in this sport never ceases to amaze and impress me. The girls had a vote and unanimously voted that we should take it as it was our first ever win. Then there were tears, hugs and more smiles. My jaw muscles (smiling not talking) got more of a work out than my body. I promised the Juggernauts that I would photograph the trophy with a group photo of the (all of us) winning team and frame it for their club room. And then we all had free champagne. Just the way I like to end all my days. Still smiling, Jenny

What’s in a name? “He that has once the flower of the sun, Breast Cancer Institute and author of “Breast Cancer: Taking Control”. The perfect ruby which we call elixir Not only can do that, but, by its virtue uby... why our boat is named Ruby? DATi’s aim is to provide the women and men in North Can confer honour, love, respect, long life, Queensland, survivors of breast cancer and people Give safety, valour, ya, and victory, The name “ruby” comes from the Latin rubeus mean- To whom he will.” currently undergoing treatment for metastatic breast ing “red”. Most of its mythological associations stem cancer, with an opportunity to hear leading authorifrom its colour. The ruby is usually considered a Ben Jonson - English Renaissance dramatist, poet ties in Australia speak on breast cancer treatment stone of power and passion. and care; current research and other areas of interand actor. (1572 – 1637) It is supposed to bestow energy and willpower, counest, without the expense of travelling to a capital city, teracting lethargy. It has sometimes been associated Keeping NQ ABREAST of the Times and at no cost to participants. It will also be an occasion for people to meet and share their experiences A One-day Breast Cancer Conference with other survivors.Their support network of family Saturday 4 May 2013 and friends, as well as Health Care Professionals associated with breast cancer will also be invited to attend. Our target is to reach 200 – 250 participants, with people attending from as far north as Cairns, far south as Mackay and far west as Mount Isa.


Members of DA Townsville (DATi) are proud to be

organizing and hosting a one-day Breast Cancer Conference in Townsville.

This conference is the realisation of a dream that DATi members, Sherone Brown & Desley Ralph have had brewing in their minds for a few years. They both have had opportunities to attend breast cancer conferences & summits in the capital cities and understand the costs to attend are a big factor to consider for many survivors. This is why they wanted to bring a conference to North Queensland and to make it free. This is not a fundraising event – it is an opportunity for regional and rural breast cancer survivors to hear the same important message as their city cousins and for a minimal cost.

Local, state and national breast cancer associated organisations and support groups have been invited to participate, and the event has been endorsed by Cancer Council Queensland (CCQ) and Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA). Guest speakers include: · Pip Youl, Head of Programs and Research at CCQ Ruby was also associated with health and long life. · Maxine Morand, CEO of BCNA The alchemists adopted the “perfect ruby” as a · Professor John Boyages, Director and Professor of symbol of the philosopher’s stone or elixir of life. Breast Cancer Oncology at Macquarie University It is a fabulous opportunity for the people of North Cancer Institute in Sydney; founder of the Westmead Queensland to embrace and support this event, with the sun. This connection with power and the heat of the sun led to a legend that a ruby dropped in water would cause it to boil. The homes of the gods were sometimes said to be lit by the glow of rubies.

Celebrating 15 years of Dragons Abreast... particularly if you are interested in learning more costs of the day. Further information and Registraabout the peak national organisations, like tion Forms can be obtained by contacting Gaye Costello, DATi coordinator at dati.coordina· BCNA, who inform, empower, represent and link Registrations will close on 5pm together people affected by breast cancer; Friday 12 April 2013, although late registrations may · Cancer Council Queensland, who are committed be accepted if seats are available. to providing all Queenslanders with the best possible prospects of preventing, detecting, effectively treating and surviving a cancer diagnosis; · The National Breast Cancer Foundation who are the leading community-funded organisation in Australia raising money for research into the prevention and cure of breast cancer; and · The new Macquarie University Cancer Institute (MCI), under the leadership of Professor John Boyages, will bring together health professionals and researchers, with the patient being the central focus and “encompassing the best their people and the organisation can bring together—clinical excellence, research, education with corporate and community partnerships”. DATi have been fortunate in receiving community support for the Conference. The Lions Clubs of Townsville, Charters Towers and Rollingstone have committed to a substantial donation to assist with venue and catering costs - a partnership between two organizations whose missions align to improve the “quality of life” for members of the community without discrimination. We have also applied to the local city council for a community grant to be used towards the

December 15 years ago the first Dragons Abreast Dragon Boat took to the waters and we’re planning a celebration to commemerate this momentous occasion, so keep your eye out in future editions of “In the LOOP” for further details

Paddler Profile - Elaine Dillon Story by: Marilyn Percy


as your Coach or Sweep ever asked you to close your eyes and paddle for 20 strokes? Elaine Dillon, a Dragons Abreast Hobart paddler experiences this each time she climbs into a dragon boat, and loves every minute of it. Born in Strahan on the rugged west coast of Tasmania, one of 4 children, it wasn’t until Elaine started school that she was diagnosed, along with 2 of her brothers, with the then commonly used term ‘hard of hearing’.

Difficulty in driving at night had, for some time, been dismissed as night blindness, but at the age of 30, Elaine and her older brother were both diagnosed with Ushers Syndrome, the main symptoms of which are retinitis pigmentosa and hearing loss. For a young mother the prognosis that she only had 8 – 10 years of sightedness left, rocked her world. In the years following, Elaine proved this prognosis wrong, retaining some of her vision, with a much more gradual deterioration than expected.

At the age of 19, Tim suffered severe brain damage in a road accident. After 5 months in a coma and being told ‘You had better get used to it, as he won’t get any better’, Elaine and Graham took Tim home, live independently and the apron strings were cut, determined to take care of him. Graham passed away in 1997 and Elaine set about with Elaine’s promise to Tim that she would never making sure Tim could fend for himself. 18 years live more than an hour’s drive away. after the accident, Elaine felt assured that Tim could Now living alone, Elaine, who prided herself on being independent and standing up for her rights, suddenly Heavy and ‘in the way’ hearing aids worn around the felt very lonely. neck and later cumbersome aids worn in the ears with no volume control, just an ‘off’ and ‘on’ switch Although never feeling comfortable with dogs, Elaine soon ‘disappeared into the bush’ as Elaine pursued accepted the offer to have the help and companionher love of sport, playing tennis, netball, softball, ship of a guide dog, and along came Chester. One hockey and later golf. Her learning ability was paw gently placed on Elaine’s lap was enough to win certainly not affected by any hearing difficulties. her over. Chester has been by Elaine’s side for the past 4 years. During her high school years, Elaine took on a casual job in a local fish factory, before leaving In 2009 Elaine was diagnosed with breast cancer. school at 16 to work in the hotel industry. She marAfter surgery and treatment, and feeling more and ried Graham at 22 and together they reared 2 chilmore isolated, she caught sight of a dragon boat on dren, Tim and Sharon. the local television news. After mentioning this to her Royal Guide Dog case manager, enquiries were

made with Merran Thurley, a paddler with Dragons Abreast Northern Tasmania, who is totally blind and hearing impaired. Merran’s encouragement was instrumental in Elaine deciding to take up the challenge. Dragon boating has opened up Elaine’s world. ‘When I’m in the boat I don’t have to look where I am going. I am treated like one of the girls. There is always someone there to guide me, but I am not smothered, which is how I like it.’ Elaine says. ‘I never want to feel I am a burden, and I want to pull my weight’. Elaine jumped at the chance to be a part of the Hobart crew to compete at the DAA regatta in Caloundra in 2011. In 2012, Dragons Abreast Hobart celebrated its 10th anniversary with a musical revue ‘Love this Dragon’ presented on stage to over 300 members of the public. After much coaxing and heeding a fellow paddler’s words of ‘If you don’t get up there and have a go, you will regret it’, Elaine conquered her nerves, and together with Chester, was centre stage, declaring after the show ‘This is the best thing I have ever done in my whole life’. Elaine was word perfect, having rehearsed in front of Chester for the past 6 months. Also in 2012, Elaine was invited to Melbourne to speak as the Tasmanian representative on the need to set up a society for Deaf Blind people at the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) forum, a government initiative to reform the disability

service system. Although very nervous, she agreed, and has said she was humbled to see the extent of others’ disabilities, with some unable to communicate at all. Last year Elaine was told that her eyesight had deteriorated to the point that there was nothing further than could be done, and she would eventually be totally blind. Tim approached Elaine’s special paddling buddies, Sue Job and Danielle Ostarek-Gammon, with the offer of an overseas trip so his mother could see and experience all the sights of London and Paris before it was too late. From all accounts, the trip was an outstanding success, with Elaine declaring it a ‘trip of a lifetime’.

The Field of Women brings the statistics of breast cancer to life in a meaningful and visually powerful way, highlighting the personal impact of breast cancer on our community. 15,000 people wearing pink ponchos and 125 in blue ponchos will stand together on the field in the shape of BCNA's Pink Lady silhouette. They will represent the number of Australian women and men who will be told they have breast cancer this year.

BCNA and the AFL hope Field of Women 2013 will engage the community, raise awareness of BCNA and its services, and also raise significant funds for Elaine’s message is simple – BCNA’s ongoing work for Australians affected by ‘Dragon boating turned my life around. There is defibreast cancer. nitely life after breast cancer, and if I can be an inspiration for others to have a go, then I am happy to tell BCNA has previously partnered with the AFL to presmy story’. ent the Field of Women in 2005 (MCG), 2007 (Telstra Look out Florida, Elaine may be heading your way! Stadium) and 2010 (MCG).

BCNA Field of Women

Saturday 10 August 2013 ANZ Stadium, Sydney NSW

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is thrilled

to announce it will be partnering with the AFL to present Field of Women 2013 in Sydney on Saturday 10 August, prior to the Sydney Swans v Collingwood match at ANZ Stadium.

Ticketing details will be released at a later date, however people wishing to register their interest in attending the event can do so at

Latest Updates... sented as possible. We have blocked accommodation for you at The Brassey of Canberra ph: 02 6273 3766quote the Booking number #255861) and Forrest Hotel and Apartments Ph: (02) 6203-4300 quote DA 1705 and ask to speak to Mahaish).



t’s only 8 weeks till the 2013 DAA Convention to be held at The Brassey of Canberra. This year’s theme will be ‘Healthy Clubs’ and we have some excellent workshops planned. Attached is the link to the DRAFT program. With 24 DAA member groups represented to date, it is a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with members from across the country, as well as meet the new Board and CEO. So, if you or your group haven’t already registered, you can do so at at Cost for the Convention (including the Convention Dinner) is $300, or dinner only is $90. Your hosts – Dragons Abreast Canberra – are looking forward to seeing as many DAA groups repre-

Weather permitting there will be a pre convention social paddles from 1.30-3.30pm on Friday 17th on Lake Burley Griffin which will give you a chance to see the sights of Canberra from the water. Please refer any questions to the convention organisers

Merchandise Movements

Hello to all our members, I hope you are all faring

well after the crazy weather we have had across the Country.

Your coordinators have been sent an updated merchandise order form which contains additional merchandise items which were included after Brett’s exhaustive stock take. This stock clearance sale is a DAA Unity Quilt This is coming on well, with all 37 DAA groups con- win/win situation as your groups can grab a bargain tributing. The quilt will be unveiled at the Conven- or make a profit on the heavily reduced items and your National body can move some existing stock to tion. make room for new stock. Canberra Centennial Dragon Muster Please go to the home page of the website and complete the order Fri 17 – Sun 19 May form and email to Orders over $250 will be eligible for free postage until 31 March 2013, so get together with your members and put in a bulk order. The sale will be ongoing until further notice or until stocks run out. Massive thanks to the groups and members who have supported these fundraising initiatives so far. Brett, myself and the Board are currently discussing future merchandise and I would like to thank Jackie Johnston, Sue Martin, Brenda Allchin and Pearl Butcher for their valuable input. Watch this space!

Don’t forget our beautiful pink silk lanterns I take mine camping with us!

nationwide. There are only a handful of groups who do not have a store in their area. In order to get all groups involved we may be able to do a joint venture with some groups who are reasonably close in proximity to another group and store and I will also look at the option of online shopping.

The basic ‘model’ would be: 1. I believe Blue Illusion provide the invitation that groups can email to contacts and provide the venue, nibbles and drinks. 2. DA groups provide 3-4 models. 3. A fashion parade is held usually on a Sat from 11 - 2pm – date(s) to be agreed on (possibly lue Illusion July/August?) 4. 20% of all sales during the event go to DAA. I have emailed all Coordinators this week outlining a 5. Have fun! Dragons Abreast National fundraiser I am hoping to achieve via a Blue Illusion Fashion Parade later this Thank you to Canberra, Byron Bay, Camden Haven, year. Central Coast, Clarence Valley, Orange, Sydney, Bribie Island, Brisbane, Mt Warning, Redcliffe, Blue Illusion is a community focused organisation Townsville, Hobart, Launceston, Gold Coast, and are not aligned with any one particular national Illawara and Ballarat for responding to me so posicharity (each store sponsors a World Vision child) – tively. here is an excerpt from their website: Blue Illusion is distinct from other retailers as I look forward to hearing from the rest of the groups our mission is based on helping others, our staff, and will be in contact down the track with further valued customers and the broader community. information. Fundraising activities occur regularly in our stores, with up to twenty percent of the total Paddles up :) sales from every one of these events going towards supporting worthwhile causes Angie O’Reilly National Fundraising Coordinator Blue Illusion stores have already supported some of Dragons Abreast Australia our DA groups in the past and they have 95 stores

$5 each or 5 for $20


We are already well into 2013 and there has been plenty on. Many of you we know are talking about Sarasota next October – we hope to see many of you there for a celebration! Don’t forget registrations open 1 April 2013. Please feel free to share this letter with your members. Also we would love to ensure everyone has access to the quarterly newsletters. We encourage you to have your members, friends and family subscribe to our newsletter: Subscribe to IBCPC

Letter from IBCPC

Angie O’Rielly will be coordinating Sarasota Florida 2014 composite teams. You can register your expressions of interest directly via the following email address:

Poet’s Corner Poem by: Mary Laing

As many of you are aware Dragons Abreast defi-

nition of breast cancer survivor includes women who have had prophylactic mastectomy due to medically identified predisposition to developing breast cancer. We are delighted to share a poem by Mary Laing, who has had this procedure. Mary has lost her mother to breast cancer aged 52, and her sister diagnosed at aged 40. Mary decided to have the gene test, which was BRAC2 positive. She immediately had all the preventative surgery. Her diagnosis of BRAC2 positive has been an emotional roller coaster ride , life changing and confronting. Whilst not a diagnosis of Breast Cancer, it still brings with it many of the confronting issues that are faced by people with breast cancer, and the fact that it increases your chances of getting the disease by a very great percentage, as well as ovarian cancer. So does one sit back and have mammograms every 6 months and wait in fear of the dreaded diagnosis or does one take this information and use it positively to prevent getting breast cancer at all. This is such a hard decision to remove perfectly normal breasts just in case one is to get cancer. Mary is now of the belief that for her circumstance, the prevention is a better option than the hope that one will get the cancer early enough, go through chemo and hope that one is cured...Prevention is a cure. Thanks Mary for sharing this with us and this very though provoking poem.

Do I, Don’t I Will I, Won’t I Do I wait Will I operate Information of the gene Hiding fears that are never seen Femininity, Intimacy, Pain and Grief Will it bring me great relief What if I just monitor & wait Then to find out it’s too late Knowing that I had been given the tools To stop this fear & the disease And put my mind finally at ease

Dragon Poem by: Carole Carey


e have many talented members among our midst and we are very fortunate to have two poetic contributions to this months newsletter. Following is a moving poem submitted by Carole Carey of Dragons Abreast Adelaide.

Warriors abreast, pink are we Paddling the dragon, happy and free Our worries are left on the shore which is exactly what -it’s all for. Our greatness is support - for each other If one can’t make it, we can cover. A team is a team, in whatever sport This is therapy, which can’t be bought Love, caring and sharing, is our creed A day never goes by without that need Sometimes family find it hard we need someone who’s on the same card. For we are survivors’, young and old hoping for life to give us gold. Some don’t realise it is a gift to feel the energy our team can lift. Being together makes us strong supporters’ care helps us along. Tears and laughter is all the part Friends we think of -who depart The stronger we get, the better we are in mind and body, whether near or afar. The freedom we feel is good for our heart although we know- one day we’ll depart. But not before we have OUR RUN pounding the waves- in the rain and sun. The Dragon will sleep on after our wake then will help others- with the same fate. They will experience and enjoy all the fun and follow in their journey- to the sun.

ASDMAC decision on TUE’s


he Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee (ASDMAC) regrets that female members of your associations have been required to submit applications for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) for drugs to treat breast cancer. ASDMAC considers that these drugs should not be prohibited and is seeking to have the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) change their status. ASDMAC stresses that it has no influence as to which athletes are drug tested in Australia, this is the responsibility of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).



NATIONAL OFFICE CONTACT DETAILS Tel: 08 8919 4700 Fax: 08 8918 8107 Local Call: 1300 889 566 Email: OFFICE OPEN HOURS National office is open from 10am until 3pm (CST) Monday to Friday.

However, ASDMAC has resolved that members of your associations who are taking drugs to treat breast cancer do not have to seek a TUE in advance. In the unlikely event that one of your members is tested and is positive to a prohibited anti-cancer drug, ASDMAC will grant a retrospective TUE. This will necessitate the paddler concerned providing ASDMAC with a detailed history of their medical condition and the treatments administered.


(Note: with regards to male members and prostate cancer, the vast majority of agents, if not all, used in the control of prostatic cancer are not banned as they are anti-androgenic).


This months winner of the monthly member draw is For any further information please contact asd- Toni Borrett and Toni wins her choice of any available or via 02 6222 4283 merchandise from the DAA range to the value of $50 Brendan Allardyce ASDMAC Secretariat


NEWSLETTER - ‘in the LOOP’ Please send all stories with photographs & links by no later than the third Tuesday of each month to

In the LOOP March 2013  

Dragons Abreast Newsletter "in the LOOP" March 2013 edition.

In the LOOP March 2013  

Dragons Abreast Newsletter "in the LOOP" March 2013 edition.