Mangskau, 45, a clinical trials referral coordinator at Mayo Clinic’s Cancer Education Center in Rochester, Minn., never imagined she would one day be a patient possibly facing cancer herself.
Numbed by the news of being diagnosed with pre-cancerous lesions during a routine mammography screening when she was 41, the Minnesota mom elected to undergo a double mastectomy to eliminate the chances of cancer forming. With no family history of breast cancer and a clear mammogram the year before her diagnosis, Mangskau was grateful her mammogram caught the abnormality early. Following her treatment and reconstructive surgery, she made it her mission to help educate women on the importance of screening and early detection.
Mangskau chose the sport of dragon boat racing to help spread her message. The colorful water sport has gained popularity among breast cancer survivors in recent years for its exercise benefit and additional bonus of helping to alleviate the symptoms of Lymphedema, (a condition some breast cancer survivors deal with as a side effect ).
“We want to spread the message of the importance of getting screened and catching breast cancer early,” said Mangskau, a member of the Making Waves dragon boat team, comprised of Mayo Clinic breast cancer survivors, employees, patients and family members, who will be heading to Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Ariz., this weekend to compete in the breast cancer and women’s divisions at the 8th Annual Arizona Dragon Boat Festival and will hit the water again in Iowa this August for the “Paddle for a Cure: Breast Cancer Survivor’s Challenge” in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Come root for the Making Waves and the Mayo Clinic corporate dragon boat team Synchronicity:
Saturday and Sunday, March 26 and 27, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tempe Town Lake, Tempe Ariz.
Click here for the race schedule: http://www.azdba.com/newsite/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/2011_Tempe_Race_Schedule-v2.pdf
Click here to watch a Mayo Clinic Medical Edge video on the Making Waves team:
Photo: Mayo Clinic corporate dragon boat team Synchronicity