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The YWCA Hunter was very proud to financially support Sharon’s journey to Florence for the Dragon Boaters event in 2018.

My Journey, Sharon Jephson

My journey began 13 years ago, a journey at the time I’d rather not have been on. But it was what it was and you just deal with it. I must admit though, that getting breast cancer was one of the best things that happened to me as it changed my life for the better. I discovered the Encore program and it was there that not only did I regain the use of my arm after lymph node surgery but I also discovered Dragon boating through one of the guest speakers. That day changed my life!

I’ve been doing Dragon boating now for 12 years, it’s a passion I’m not sure I would have embarked upon if not for breast cancer. Back in 2003 the very first international Breast cancer regatta was held in Canada, then its being held every 4 years since. It’s held in a different country every 4 years just like the Olympics, in 2007 it was held in Caloundra Qld. That was my very first regatta! The beginning!

I missed the last two due to finance but this year I was able to make the journey to Florence Italy to compete once again in the IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Competition. The largest international women’s sporting event in the world!

You can only begin to imagine the excitement to be surrounded by so many courageous women from all walks of life coming together as a united force, proving that getting breast cancer need not be the dismal outcome that everyone thinks. To be there surrounded by a sea of pink and knowing that such a dreadful disease has brought us all together is amazing.

Don McKenzie was there when I first entered in Caloundra, his words were inspiring and encouraging to one and all.  These are the words from IBCPC-

The biggest women sportive event: #FlorenceBCS2018

Not a simple one: 4000 paddlers and breast cancer thrivers  from all over the world

Love that they called us thrivers!

I became an Encore facilitator 5 years ago and am very passionate about my job, love seeing all our lovely ladies excited as they regain movement and strength throughout the 8 week program.

Very blessed, Shaz.

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