A visitor to Sicamous praised the friendly and accommodating local dragon boaters. (Dot Kohler Photo)

Woman fighting breast cancer finds welcoming dragon boat crew in Sicamous

Arriving at a trying time in her life, Dot Kohler grateful for local paddlers’ generosity

A visitor to Sicamous praised the way local dragon boaters welcomed her into their ranks and the solace she found in working as one to glide across the surface of Shuswap Lake.

Dot Kohler, an Ontario resident visiting family in the area, joined the local paddlers on one of their early-morning voyages and was touched when four women offered to give up their seats on the full boat.

“I understood instantly they did this out of pure kindness and compassion,” Kohler wrote in a letter to the Eagle Valley News.

Kohler’s letter detailed the trying time she was going through when she visited Sicamous.

“I arrived as a visitor, having flown in very last minute for a quick visit. A small window opened during my second phase of chemotherapy for an aggressive breast cancer. My strong and calm brother-in-law had just finished 12 weeks of palliative treatment for an advanced cancer,” Kohler wrote.

Read More: Survivorship Dragon Boat Team wins in Vernon

Read More: Truck explosion shakes residents at Shuswap horse rescue

Kohler added that through the recent strife her family experienced, her sister had found everyday joy as part of a dragon boat team; she found a similar feeling of enjoyment in the hypnotic rhythm of paddling the boat and the moments of serenity as its momentum let it glide across the calm surface of the lake.

In her letter Kohler thanked the dragon boat society, especially the women who gave up their seats in the boat.

Dragon boat society secretary Brenda Banham said regular paddlers often give up their spots to newcomers in order to share the dragon boating experience and help more people get active. Banham said they usually bring along a few drop-in paddlers.

“We’re really open to let people try. It’s really not a problem.”

The accommodating attitude has helped to grow the society — Banham said their membership has increased to 30 compared to 21 last year, so full boats are departing from the Sicamous Channel most of the mornings they paddle.

Banham said interest in competitive paddling has grown along with the society’s numbers.

“We’ve kind of stepped it up a bit as far as training,” Banham said.

Read More: ‘Tis the summer of the earwig, say some Salmon Arm residents

Read More: Howling hot summer at Caravan Theatre

She said about eight of the paddlers who regularly go out on the Sicamous boat have joined other crews in the area to participate in dragon boat festivals

“We try to make the best of our club and get everybody active. That’s really the biggest role is to keep people in the community active,” Banham said.

She added the club would be eager to welcome more young people to paddle with them regularly.

The Eagle Valley Dragon Boat Society are on the water from 7 to 8 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday mornings; they depart from the Sicamous channel and new paddlers are welcome.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Second snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Another 20 cm of snow is expected to fall by early Friday

Kelowna Falcons coach hired by Toronto Blue Jays

Ryan Wright will join the franchise as a minor league hitting coach

Airplane lands safely at Kelowna International Airport

The airplane reportedly had engine troubles

Kelowna area MP responds to Conservative leader’s resignation

Dan Albas wishes Andrew Scheer well after Scheer’s surprise announcement he is stepping down.

‘The most stressful job I’ve ever loved’: URBA director announces resignation

Laurel D’Andrea will be leaving the Uptown Rutland Business Association in February

VIDEO: Andrew Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

Shuswap’s Canoe Forest Products plywood plant to cut costs over Christmas

Predictions for future of Salmon Arm plant look positive, says general manager

Okanagan air ambulance receives approval to use night vision in rescue situations

BCEHS says this will benefit critically-ill or injured patients who require transport late at night

All lifts open this weekend at SilverStar

Some terrain remains closed until more snow falls

Morning Start: Octopuses are brainier than you

Your morning start for Thursday, December 12, 2019

RCMP take care when burying sex mannequins found this year in Manning Park

Police tasked with ensuring the mannequins were completely disposed

B.C. seniors need better vaccine protection, advocate says

Home support down, day programs up in annual rating

Summerland grape growers issue fundraising challenge

Gerry and Kathy Ryan have donated $5,000 to the Tree of Dreams fundraising campaign

RCMP rescue wounded raven on Vancouver Island highway

Bird expected to make full recovery

Most Read