Leah Salmorin​


I’m the kind of outgoing person who is full of energy and loves sports so much, especially swimming. But when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, my whole life changed. I felt I was drowning in a deep ocean and felt so alone struggling and in desperate need of help.

I had a lumpectomy, four cycles of chemotherapy, 38 days of radiation, lost my hair, and ended taking tamoxifen for five years, until October 2009. During this journey, I told myself I will not allow cancer to ruin or mess up my life. I will not allow cancer to knock me down completely. I will beat cancer because I am a winner. I will get my life back and enjoy it to the fullest. I’m in remission now but still riding a roller coaster, struggling and fighting with my diabetes and kidney problems, but I still keep moving forward.

My faith in God comforted me; with Him beside me, nothing is impossible. I kept a positive attitude despite all adversity because God kept me close to His side.

Leah Salmorin


Humility and faith in God are two lessons I learned from cancer. Through dealing with some government workers, I learned to be humble and diplomatic, forgiving of their insensitivity.

I also forgave my then-landlady who practically kicked me out for fear of being responsible for me because I was without any family locally.

My faith in God comforted me; with Him beside me, nothing is impossible. I kept a positive attitude despite all adversity because God kept me close to His side. I am blessed. I am well taken care of by my medical family and hold onto the love I get from family and friends. I promised myself to give back to the hospital where I was treated and to the support groups that helped me during my journey. My passion for the water and the gift of life I have been given are the main reasons I was encouraged and motivated to form and lead our Paddle for the Cure Dragon Boat Team. In this way I can inspire other survivors to be active and join the race. We are athletes of various skill levels and get the benefits from paddling along with enjoying the sport of dragon boating. Here, we make friends with my fellow “Pink Sisters” whose stories inspired me. I learned a lot from them.

When asked how I beat cancer, all I can say is God fought my battle.

I believe at the end of the dark tunnel there is always light and I can get through anything. I am thankful for being transformed into a better, stronger person, helping me achieve my highest potential so that I can aid underserved women like I and help fund research to find the cures for breast cancer.


PFC was created in 2013 and received its tax-exempt status the same year. PFC is the premiere water sports-focused breast cancer organization in NYC. .The mission of PFC is to promote the tradition, sport and health benefits of dragon boating for breast cancer survivors and supporters; raise awareness of issues related to cancer survivorship; advocate for healthy lifestyles; and raise funds to support the fight against breast cancer and expand our Three A”s- Awareness , Action and Advocacy to our road to recovery .Local dragon boat teams provide positive mental and emotional support for survivors through teamwork and mutual commitment.
PFC has been inspired by the work of Dr. Don McKenzie, who, in 1996, started a dragon boat team for women with a history of breast cancer. He believed that this activity would benefit breast cancer survivors as it provided strenuous upper body activity in a socially supportive environment. PFC offers survivors a message of hope and support while helping to change attitudes towards life after breast cancer.
Our impact
Influencing the way people, organizations, and movements for healthy lifestyle!