WeCanRow Buffalo program empowers female cancer survivors

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As each oar hits the water, a narrow boat is being propelled along the Buffalo River.

“We’re so supportive of each other, we’re not a downside group we are definitely an upside group,” said Linda Holben, breast cancer survivor.

It’s a challenging sport, but one that’s no match compared to what these women have endured.

“After you’ve been through some of those treatments you have to go, through this is nothing,” said Holben.

Linda Holben is one of 20 women in the WeCanRow Buffalo program who survived cancer. Linda beat breast cancer not only once, but twice.

“Of course you know I’m a little bit older than most of the girls in the group and I’m beginning to feel my age you know, my joints are starting to hurt. But once I get in the boat everything kind of loosens up and I’m ready to go,” said Holben.

“We help each other I think emotionally, spiritually, physically and then rowing I mean that’s just a great all around activity to keep you healthy,” said Lisa DeMarco, WeCanRow Buffalo co-founder.

It hits close to home for both of the program’s co-founders, who both beat breast cancer.

“There is still life with cancer and it just goes to show with these ladies, our oldest member is 77 and we’re all here to support each other. None of us knew how to row, so it was something we all did it together and we’re still doing it,” said Lisa Wind, WeCanRow Buffalo co-founder.

The program now has a new home at 405 Ohio Street in Buffalo, where the new Patrick Paladino Memorial Boathouse is currently being constructed.

Through WeCanRow Buffalo, these ladies row twice a week.

“We get out and we just do it and it’s fun,” said DeMarco.”And if you see one person do it, you’re like if this 77 year old lady can get out there and do it, I can get in the boat,” said Wind.

For more information on the program go to www.wecanrowbuffalo.com

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