Cancer survivor channels energy into dragon boating

Cancer survivor channels energy into dragon boating

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here is a story of a woman who beat cancer and helps others who are struggling with the disease. 

Merlin Osborne
Merlin Osborne/ Supplied

Merlin Osborne is a phenomenal woman who took the lemons life threw her way and made lemonade. 

The cancer survivor learned that she was suffering from cancer in 2007 after feeling a lump on her breast. The news devastated her, especially because she had witnessed her own family members suffering from cancer. 

“The first thought that I had in mind was death,” she told Beautiful News

But shortly after that she had a change of mind and thought about how she could make her life more meaningful. 

“I decided cancer wasn’t going to define who I am,” she told the publication. 

READ: Four South African celebrities who died of cancer in 2023

Osborne then started chemotherapy to shrink the lump and later had a mastectomy to remove the affected breast.

Osborne says the medication made her feel depressed and she also felt lonely. “No one could ever prepare one for the journey of breast cancer.”

However, determined to make the most of her life, she then found a new hobby that has since changed her life and the lives of other breast cancer survivors - dragon boating. 

She joined the amaBele Belles, the first dragon boat racing team in Africa to be powered by cancer survivors. 

According to Beautiful News, the 'sport has a direct impact on recovery, as the paddling required reduces swelling in the arms that certain cancer treatments can cause'. 

READ: Bra initiative aimed at combating breast cancer

She currently has a team of cancer survivors with whom she enjoys dragon boating with.

“Even though the cancer is gone, the friendships I have made will never die,” Osborne told Beautiful News.

Catch stories such as these by listening to Danny Painter every Monday to Thursday from 19:00 to 22:00. 

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