The Beam Team: rowing alongside their patients
Ladies from the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre row in support of their patients
The Beam Team will be firing up the dragon boat races in Paradise on Saturday.
The Paddle in Paradise dragon boat races on Octagon Pond began in 2011, launched by the Avalon Dragons, a team of breast cancer survivors.
Normally, many of the paddlers in the Paddle in Paradise dragon boat races on Octagon Pond are people who have been afflicted with breast cancer.
But the Beam Team is a bit different. They're health care professionals taking care of people with cancer and they're in it to support their patients.
Team name comes from their profession
The team's name comes from some of the paddlers' profession: Angie Warren and Breanne Teasdale are radiation therapists at the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre.
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"We see patients on treatment we assess them, we counsel on how to manage side effects of radiation and we work closely with the units to communicate regarding what's going on," said Melanie Ryan, a Beam Team paddler and oncology nurse at the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre told the St. John's Morning Show.
"I think it's great that we can now go watch them, and support them in a different way, and see them healthy and enjoying their life." - Angie Warren
A history of paddling
Angie Warren is no stranger to the races, but this is her first year paddling.
"I decided for a couple of reasons both personally and professionally, on a personal note my mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor, and she's been a member of the Avalon Dragons, she's an original member," Warren said.
In fact, ten years ago, Warren's mother-in-law and friends were the first group of ladies in North America to build their own wooden dragon boat.
"Every year we try to get to the paddling races in Paradise, and every year I notice it get's bigger and better," Warren said.
Rowing alongside former patients
Warren said she has always wanted to join a team and take part and she knew that this was the year to do it.
"And what a better team to have than my radiation therapy people," she said.
Most of the Avalon Dragons team had radiation therapy when they had cancer, and encountered the members of the Beam Team throughout their treatment.
"All 21 members of our team have been part of that journey, whether it was meeting them at the reception desk and giving them their appointment time, or it was on the front lines like us, like the radiation therapist delivering the treatment, or Melanie, the nurse who helps manage the side effects," Warren said.
"I think it's great that we can now go watch them, and support them in a different way, and see them healthy and enjoying their life," Warren added.
The races begin 9 a.m. Saturday morning at Octagon Pond, Paradise. Twenty-six teams in total will compete.