Dozens paddle in LSU lakes for cancer awareness

Dozens paddle in LSU lakes for cancer awareness
(Source: Kevin Frey/WAFB)
(Source: Kevin Frey/WAFB)
(Source: Kevin Frey/WAFB)
(Source: Kevin Frey/WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Dozens took up oars and paddled in LSU lakes Sunday to benefit the Cancer Services Center of Greater Baton Rouge.

Individuals paid $10 for a 20 minute ride, with the choice of paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes.

"It's a great way to raise money and have fun at the same time," said participant, Donna Darvill.

BREC organized the event for the middle of October, which is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness month.

"Everybody has someone, either its them or family or friends, who's going through this and we're here to show that we're all in this together," said Amanda Bradley, the program coordinator of outdoor adventures for BREC.

This is the third time BREC has held such an event, and while many wore pink for breast cancer awareness, the color palate was varied.

"This is the first year that we've expanded it to include representing other cancers as well, so you'll see folks in the goldenrod, which is representing the childhood cancers, and the gray, which is the brain cancers," Bradley said.

Some, including Holly Barnes, tried paddle boarding for the first time.

"I was a little shaky – my legs were so shaky - probably because I was so nervous," Barnes said

BREC employees were on hand to help participants trying something new.

"It's an intimidating thing, water sports, to be up standing, balancing on something, especially when you've never done it before," Bradley said. "But that's just the testament that it is possible and with the right help we can do it together."

Several attendees said they were participating in part to honor family members and friends who battled cancer.

"My mother had breast cancer ... over 20 years, ago, and she's made a full recovery," said Gerard Darvill, who rode a paddleboard for the second time in his life while at the event.

For others, the event was even more personal. Dawn Thibodeaux succeeded in her fight against breast cancer five years ago. While she did get wet after taking a tumble into the lake while on her paddleboard, she was happy to share the afternoon with friends.

"It's a celebration of people who did survive and a remembrance of those who did not survive the disease," she said.

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