Women's boat racing team dedicates Rose Parade float to breast cancer survivors

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A group of boat racing women, known as the L.A. Pink Dragons, will present a float at the Rose Parade dedicated to breast cancer survivors. (KABC)

On New Year's Day, each float at the Rose Parade will have a special story. But one entry will have an inspirational message.

From the tiniest detail to the overall concept, one float bears the heart and soul of 82 year old breast cancer survivor Anita Scott.

"It was a natural thing for me to make a design," Scott said.

Scott's design won the hearts of judges picking this year's South Pasadena entry. Scott is a member of the L.A. Pink Dragons, a team of women racers made up completely of breast cancer survivors. This year's theme, Inspiring Stories, is the fabric that weaves these ladies' lives together. The name of the float is "Still Winning."

"The whole idea of it is that no matter what challenges you have in your life, and everyone has them, it is not how that challenge defines you, but how you respond to that," Scott said.

Rising to the occasion is how these women chose to respond. The team practices on Saturday mornings preparing for dragon boat races around the world.

"It's a really almost spiritual experience to be with 20 other women that kind of know your story, don't care, its' all about the paddling together," Sharon Mitchell said.

The sisterhood the women share on the water is the same on land. They work in sync as they attend to every petal, branch and bud.

On parade day this float will have 13 thousand pink roses making up this pink ribbon. In fact, the float will be two-thirds flowers. But the most inspirational part about this float will be the women of the L.A. Pink Dragons sitting on the float paddling.

"I can't imagine what it's going to feel like to stand up on that and go along Colorado. I just can't even imagine," Mitchell said.

"We have decided we are not going to let that disease define our lives, we are going to be strong, we are going to be determined, we're going to be positive, we're going to be looking forward instead of backward," Scott said.

The L.A. Pink Dragons is the only team made up of breast cancer survivors in California. Besides the camaraderie, doctors say the type of upper body and core work involved in the sport is beneficial.

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healthhealthy livinghealthbreast cancerrose parade
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