Women standing up to breast cancer
EVERY Wednesday at 7.30am, summer or winter, a group of brave women heads to the Noosa River to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy life from atop a stand up paddle board.
Now I say brave for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, simply by jumping onto a SUP, they are braver than me.
Secondly, because each one of these women has faced a battle against breast cancer.
Some are still going through the process, while others are now cancer-free and facing a healthy future.
"If I can do it, anyone can do it,” says real estate agent Theodora Garwood with a laugh.
Theodora's own personal journey is not one she's shared publicly but she's agreed to talk to the Noosa News to inspire other women to join the weekly therapeutic recreation support group and "have a go”.
"We sometimes want to talk, but today we had a good laugh,” she said.
"Some people talk, others quietly look around at the beautiful houses ... it takes your mind off everything.
"You can see a lot of them are still processing their 'stuff' when we meet up on a Wednesday morning.”
Theodora said it was the favourite part of her week.
"We enjoy each other's company,” she said.
"We look at the positive - that's why we're there - it's fun.
"It gives us a renewed enthusiasm and we prove to ourselves that we can do something that we haven't tried before. Life's not over!”
Theodora said the weekly paddle group helped her by providing understanding and friendship.
"When I was diagnosed, it completely shook my world,” she admitted.
"It's a personal journey; not one that you want to lump onto too many people.
"I did feel rather alone.
"It's really important to have camaraderie because you do feel alone and you don't want to go telling every second person that you've had your breasts removed.”
Lachlan Stevens of Boardwalk Boat Hire lends the SUPs free of charge to the group and is also the organiser of the annual Paddle in Pink breast cancer fundraiser which is held every October.
If anyone needs to talk or wants to join the group, call Theodora on 0408 710 373 and she'll be happy to be your buddy on the river.