The Silver Lining Sisterhood is entering into it’s fifth year. We are members of the International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission as well as the Pacific Dragon Boat Federation. With the generosity of our community, we have been able to purchase our own two boats and we currently train on Salmon Lake. We are a sisterhood that appreciates the value of working together toward a common goal and studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce the rate of recurrence by over 40%. As our member numbers increase, so does our need to move forward with our mission. We appreciate any support that aids in our mission of empowering breast cancer survivors….in mind, body and spirit.
In the spring of 2015, a small group of “sisters” began gathering to support each other in the aftermath of breast cancer treatment. A few of us had met during chemo, others were referred by friends. It evolved very organically. We were brought together by the common experience of being in the trenches and trying to decipher how to move forward after the “battle”– post-surgery, post-chemo, post-radiation, post-the life that we used to know. Our group has grown to over 250 members (as of May 2020).
Our monthly gatherings include listening to educational speakers, sharing meals and focusing on moving forward with hope and optimism!
Other activities include Monday evening hikes, Friday morning coffee hour, guided physical training 2x/week, dragon boat training 2-3x/week on Salmon Lake, as well as dragon boat regattas in both Canada and the US. We also are planning on attending the International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission Regatta in Cambridge, New Zealand, 2022!
We host a closed FB page, titled Silver Lining Montana, that is only for survivors. This is a safe platform for all to “gather”, ask question and lean on each other for all sorts of resourceful information. In addition, we have a second FB page, Silver Lining Dragon Boat Racing Team, which is all things related to our training and racing. In addition, you can find us on an open FB page, Silver Lining Foundation Montana or on Instagram @silverliningcrew.
Traditional cancer treatment often leaves survivors physically, mentally, and emotionally depleted. As survivors, we understand the need for community and camaraderie with others who have been through the same journey. By gathering together, it is our goal to help give hope and promote wellness amongst ourselves.
We have monthly gatherings featuring educational speakers, provide safe guided physical training 2x/week, feature weekly hikes and coffee hour as well as our dragon boat training. We train on Salmon Lake May through September and we train 2-3x/week. We also compete in dragon boat regattas in both Canada and the US.
We are grateful to our generous community of supporters as we continue to move on with our mission. We are STRONGER TOGETHER!
The first breast cancer survivor team was formed in 1996 by Dr. Don McKenzie, a sports medicine physician at the University of British Columbia. Dr. McKenzie researched the effects of repetitive upper body exercise in breast cancer survivors. Up until that point, the oncology world discouraged patients from using their upper body post breast cancer treatment. Dr. McKenzie’s study (and several others) proved that physical activity, such as dragon boat paddling, actually helped improve lymphedema, which is a debilitating condition that can result from breast cancer surgery or other treatment. Additionally, survivors reported better mental health from the support they received from their teammates.
Since then, hundreds of breast cancer survivors around the world have formed dragon boat racing teams to train and race as a community. A growing body of evidence suggests that physical activity, community support and connection may actually improve survival for women diagnosed with breast cancer. We at Silver Lining Montana, believe wholeheartedly that our community and paddling has improved the quality of our lives and gives us hope for the future!
The mission of Silver Lining Foundation is to help Western Montana women diagnosed with breast cancer achieve and maintain wellness of mind, body and spirit through emotional support, education, and physical activity. That mode of physical activity is primarily through Dragon Boat Racing. We are SISTERS, aspiring to endure and thrive with grace under adversity. And although we are mostly breast cancer survivors, we also welcome any other cancer survivors into our circle of strength.