Cancer recovery by empowering women, Crew309 spends first season out on the Illinois River

Local News

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The idea for Crew 309 started in 2017, but this was the first season they are spending out on the water, rowing in 8-person boats.

Formerly “Rowed to Recovery,” Crew 309 was an affiliate of Chicago-based “Recovery on Water.”

The team is made up entirely of breast cancer survivors, who have found a support group through exercise.

“It really helps to be in a room with people that truly get it and have been through it,” said survivor and Crew 309 Treasurer Karoline Seitz-Goddard. “We’ve all been through it and we all understand. And we actually don’t talk about it that much. But, you walk in and everybody knows. And if someone is going in for a check-up or a scan or something like that, we really support each other.”

During the lockdowns of 2020, Seitz-Goddard said they worked out together over Facebook chat.

Another team member and survivor, Jennifer Helms, said she was able to find gratitude for her struggles because of Crew 309.

“I was blessed to have this,” she said. “You know, when God gives you lemons, you make lemonade. So this was a blessing in disguise.”

Pour Bro’s in Peoria Heights is hosting a “Pour for Oars” fundraiser for Crew 309 on Saturday, Aug. 28, starting at 2 p.m.

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