McFarland Clinic

Dragon Boat Racing: Local Team Represents McFarland, Hospital

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June 22, 2012

The team paddling sport of dragon boat racing has been around for the past 2000 years. This summer the William R. Bliss Cancer Center will sponsor its first pink dragon boat racing team by participating in the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash July 27 & 28 in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

The Pink Dragon Boat Racing movement began in Canada in 1996, with a team under the medical guidance of a sports medicine physician who found that paddling not only provides a thorough cardio routine, but  is also a great exercise for breast cancer patients.

Additional studies have shown that paddling builds upper body strength, is beneficial to the recovery process, and helps to prevent lymphedema, a common side effect of breast cancer treatment. 

Pink Dragon Boat Racing has since become a prominent sport among breast cancer survivors worldwide.   The goal is to give hope and encouragement by sharing stories of the physical, mental and spiritual strength and the benefits of dragon boating.

A total of 24 women representing breast cancer survivors and McFarland Clinic and Mary Greeley Medical Center staff are training on Ada Hayden in Ames and Badger Lake in Ft. Dodge to compete at the summer festival. 

To learn more about the benefits of dragon boating for breast cancer survivors, go to

For more information on the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash, go to

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