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Breast cancer support group uses dragon boating to improve health, foster inclusivity

'Experience leaving your troubles on shore,' says president
Hell Gate Sea Dragons
Posted at 1:38 PM, Oct 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-28 13:38:50-04

PALM CITY, Fla. — The Hell Gate Sea Dragons offer hope, inspiration, and camaraderie to breast cancer survivors and their supporters. It’s the only dragon boat group in Martin County.

The paddlers focus on health and physical activity through the sport of dragon boating.

“We are brought together, because of the breast cancer survivors. Because of our emotional needs ,when we're going through our surgeries and our treatments.," said Diane Wolfort, president of Hell Gate Sea Dragons. "And then also when we come back on the boat, this helps us get physically fit. The camaraderie of the members—whether you're breast cancer survivors or supporters. We have our guys on the boat, they're wonderful supporters, on and off the boat for us.”

Wolfort said the team is very important to her breast cancer journey,.

“I don't even think you can put that in words. When I first joined the team, I had already had one or two surgeries and then I had ended up getting a double mastectomy." she said. "All the sisters on that team gave me not just emotional support, but I could talk to them about what I was going through, what I was trying to figure out, what type of operation I needed, what doctors I could use."

The Hell Gate Sea Dragons is open to all age groups and genders.

“We have all the gear you need. We have the life preservers, we have the paddles, and we will teach you what you need to do," Wolfort said. "How to actually paddle in the boat and experience leaving your troubles on shore when you're on the water.”