Hope Afloat, Celebrating Our 10th Anniversary!!!!
2001 - 2011Hope Afloat USA's mission is to help survivors of breast cancer make positive emotional, spiritual, and physical changes in their lives through the ancient sport of Dragon Boat Racing. We encourage survivors, regardless of age or athletic ability, to "awaken the dragon within" by providing them with hope, support, camaraderie, and adventure. About Us
Hope Afloat USA is Philadelphia and Pennsylvania's FIRST breast cancer survivor dragon boat racing team led by a board of breast cancer survivors. We are proud to be based in the "City of Brotherly Love" - Philadelphia, USA. Since 2001, our bond as a "floating support group" has been the boat, the Schuylkill River where we paddle, and beating breast cancer.
Hope Afloat is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporation. Hope Afloat is a member of the Eastern Region Dragonboat Association (ERDBA) and Schuylkill River/Dragonboat Committee.
The only criterion to join the team is having a history of breast cancer. Age, race, size, athletic ability, and paddling experience are not factors in team membership. All of us want the adventure, camaraderie, and joy of celebrating life with other breast cancer survivors through this sport.
Our team members hail from the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, with our "youngest" member in her 70’s, and our "oldest" member in her mid-30’s. Collectively, we have over 2000 years of life experience, and 266 years of surviving breast cancer. Some of us are two-time survivors for as long as 34 years, some of us are less than one year from finishing chemo or radiation, and some of us are on "dry land" in treatment for re-occurrence. We are mothers, wives, grandmothers, sisters and daughters. We are nurses, teachers, engineers, retirees, accountants, small business owners, comptrollers, bankers, programmers, waitresses, florists, administrators, journalists, and managers. On the face of it, we are your "average" women. Yet, average is not a word we would use to describe ourselves. We are strong and confident, motivated, dedicated and positively focused.
Hope Afloat has provided opportunities to share new goals, new experiences, and to build a new commonality which enriches and strengthens the ties between us. It's not just that we are survivors together - we have paddled and raced together, lifted boats together, traveled together, eaten together, celebrated as well as mourned together. We have built, and will continue to build a whole new set of common experiences which are much more enjoyable than the shared experience of breast cancer. We have built a Team.
We use cancer to “challenge our limits, rather than limit our challenges”. We are dedicated to changing the image of breast cancer survivors in our communities and the world by showing we can: lead full and active lives after breast cancer; network positively with other survivors; provide an alternative forum as a "floating support group"; expand our horizons to try something new and exciting; keep fit and healthy to reduce stress; and most importantly, have FUN!!!! When we hear our coach scream "take me home" to the finish line, we tell ourselves - "we beat breast cancer - we know we can finish this race!"