ZIENIA CABRERA, Jun 11, 1979 – May 27, 2014
The first time that I met Zienia was at a camp on Davis Island hosted by the Pink Dragon Ladies. Like so many people unfamiliar to the sport, she had heard about the Pink Dragon Ladies and wanted to find out more about the team and dragon boating.
During camp, she and I were seat partners on the boat. Like so many new paddlers, she was nervous yet excited. Although she felt awkward and began to learn the techniques, as she began to catch on, she would smile with an innocent expression, as she apologized every time she clinked paddles, got out of sync and continued to splash the other paddlers.
At the end of the camp she expressed how much fun she had and would be looking forward to signing up for practices and potentially races. “She had been bitten by the dragon,” and wanted to continue to surround herself with ladies just like her, women diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
At the age of 31, Zienia was diagnosed with terminal stage Breast Cancer. The camp was the first and last time that she was able to paddle with the team. On a couple of occasions, when her health would allow, she was able to attend a couple of practices and ride on the boat. Due to the severity of her cancer she had to wear a body cast to keep her bones from breaking and possibly paralyzed. With all that she was going through she would bless us with her presence and smile when she could by attending a race or two when her health would allow it.
Zienia was strong in mind, body, and spirit. She was an Air Force veteran, pursuing a degree in Nursing, a wife (Saul) and mother to her son (Bryson) and daughter (Isa) all while fighting cancer.
On May 27, 2017 at 34 years old, Zienia lost her battle with Breast Cancer. Although she was a part of the team for such a short period of time, her presence as a Pink Dragon Lady supporter made it seem to some of us like a life time. Zienia is missed and will be in our heart always. She was and will always be a Pink Dragon Lady, mind, body and spirit.
Provided by —-
Pink Dragon Ladies, Paddler