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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Vernon Vipers acquire power forward

Former Salmon Arm Silverback Jarrod Semchuk, from Kamloops, comes to Vernon via Bonnyville of AJHL

Major road project in Towship of Spallumcheen starts Monday

Reconstruction and repaving of 1.4-kilometre stretch of Back Enderby Road to last until October

No abandoned Seadoo found on Coldstream lake

Vernon Search and Rescue crews and RCMP unable to find reported abandoned Seadoo on Kal Lake

Okanagan Science Centre open with pandemic safety measures

The Vernon centre has also added four new entries to its summer camp lineup

Coldstream defenceman warrants U17 camp call

Jace Weir, 16, of the Okanagan Rockets one of 113 players picked for Hockey Canada virtual camp

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

Summerland campground to provide COVID-safe accommodations for temporary farm-workers

The managed seasonal worker campsite will be located within a separated area of Peach Orchard Municipal Campground

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Kelowna high school football star, water skier, signs with University of Calgary

Isaac Athans, and his family, have a long history of success across various sports in the Okanagan, nationally

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Shuswap resident spots waterspout near Salmon Arm

The rare weather event was spotted early in the morning on July 4.

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Most Read