Competitive boat paddler Diane Ermel races for more than just for the thrill of winning, she also races to raise breast cancer awareness
, Leader-Post reports.
For Ermel, when she was diagnosed with the disease 18 years ago she had no one to turn to for help, or support.
"I had my surgery and I had my treatment, but I didn't know where to go or who to talk to," Ermel told the news source. Since then the disease has become more well-known, especially since 1 in 8 women will battle the disease in her lifetime, according to BreastCancer.org.
Since then, she has used her competitive nature to promote breast cancer awareness and to show support for those fighting and for those who lost their lives to the disease.
In 2003, she joined a women's dragon boat team named Papetista, who race together every year at the Regina Dragon Boat Festival. According to Ermel about 50 percent of the racers on her team are breast cancer survivors.
"It's not about raising money for breast cancer, it's about showing what women with breast cancer can do," Ermel told the news source. "It shows people that women that have been diagnosed with breast cancer can still get out there and they're full of energy."