The "Healing Dragons" try to beat cancer, one paddle at a time

Published: Jul. 21, 2010 at 8:44 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2010 at 8:51 PM EDT
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by Molly Grantham - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – A new group in our area is trying to beat cancer one paddle stroke at a time.

The "Healing Dragons" was set up last year by Randy and Lori Crow, a husband and wife team.  It's a group of people – men and women – who practice and compete in dragon boating races.  They all are battling cancer, have beaten cancer or are a family member or friend out in support of those they know with cancer.

"It IS the healing of the heart and just letting know there is life after cancer," says Jan Kuhn, a two-time cancer survivor.

If you've never heard of dragon boating, you're in good company.  I never had either.  Then one of the members invited me up to Lake Norman for a practice. 

It was described in advance as "a canoe on steroids".  I found out it's a 40-foot boat with two rows of ten people on each side.  An oarsman is in the back (in this case that's Randy).  There are certain ways to hold the paddle and certain ways to sit.  It's not as much about physical talent – or even thought – as it is about feeling. 

The team has six races between July and October.  They travel from Virginia to Florida.  This weekend, July 24th, is their next one.  It's in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  In the end of August the group will participate at Lake Lure, then Johnson City in September and wrap up their season in Orlando in October.

There are lots of things I could say to "describe" dragon boating, but this one of those stories where the best way to understand it is to "see" it.

For more information on the team, go to  If you have any specific questions about the team, you can email

Click the attached video to see the entire story. 

There is also a web extra full of extra sound and extra video, shot by producer/photographer Brian Stephenson.

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