Cancer survivors paddle for charity

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FIVE women who fought cancer have paddle-boarded 10 kilometres from the Port of Estepona to La Duquesa Marina, arriving an hour earlier than expected.

Yolanda Preciados, Marian Santiago, Patricia Alonso, Carmen Diaz and Susana Laguarda set off around 10am last Saturday cheered on by friends, family and well-wishers.

Company, Paloma Blanca, released white doves to mark the beginning of the challenge and Susana Aragon, Councillor for Beaches and Adrian Trujillo, Councillor for Sports, and Fernando Calleja, Estepona’s Commissioner of the National Police, were present for the event’s start.

The Surfing Life challenge, which was organised by the parent company of both marinas involved; Marinas del Mediterraneo, and sponsored by Navigaport and Mistral, who were also all on hand to wave the women off.

Accompanied by a boat from Marinas del Mediterraneo, a Guardia Protection vessel and a patrol boat from the Guardia Civil’s Maritime Service, the five adventurers exited the port in the direction of Manilva and began their paddle around 200 metres off the coast.

Not deterred by the mist, wind or waves, the women battled on, “because sometimes your strength comes not from your arms or body, but your mind; the “grey muscle”, which is the most important one we have,” according to one of the challengers, Susana Laguarda, a member of the Guardia Civil.

Another participant, Carmen Diaz, a pharmacist, explained,“you have to take the positives from a disease like cancer, and for me the positive thing has been valuing the people who have been with me in the worst moments and enjoy every minute of life.”

Marian Santiago, a Guardia Civil traffic cop, added, “there are many associations that are doing a lot for people dealing with cancer. Whenever possible we must help these organisations and give them visibility.”

Marbella businesswoman, Yolanda Preciados, commented, “with a positive attitude you can do anything. We want to show that there is a lot of life after illness, that anything can be overcome with courage and a little luck.”

Patricia Alonso, a biologist by profession, could not shake her smile off her face as she finished the challenge. Tired and sunburned, she thanked the organisers for the giving the women the opportunity to take on the challenge, explaining, “these events energise us because we see how popular they are. This is food for the soul.”

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