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Breast cancer survivors paddle for cure

Joanne Ambrosino, Martha Schanel find common interest
Posted at 7:14 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 19:15:43-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Joanne Ambrosino and Martha Schanel have a lot in common. They enjoy being on the water and plenty of sun. They love to paddle dragon boats. They're also breast cancer survivors.

Ambrosino is with the Lighthouse Dragons.

"We just support each other. We talk about things," Ambrosino said. "We get athletic together. We talk about healthy ways to, you know, survive our illnesses that we all have in various stages."

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018.

"I was in shock, because I am very athletic," Ambrosino said. "I eat healthy. I couldn't believe the news. My aunt had it, but it was just a small lump."

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Martha Schanel is with the Heart and Soul Dragon Boat team out of Melbourne.

More than 20 years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer after running in a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in downtown West Palm Beach.

"I raced on Saturday and went for a mammogram on Tuesday and, sure enough, without any signs ... I was diagnosed with very early stage breast cancer," Schanel said.

Now the ladies and their teammates are joining friends for Komen's virtual race Jan. 30. Schanel is ready.

Schanel said it's a time to also raise awareness about breast cancer.

"It's the awareness and how important it is to be regularly screened for breast cancer and just to be mindful," she said.

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