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How to Ride a Dragon: Women with Breast Cancer Tell Their Stories


How to Ride a Dragon is a beautifully crafted tapestry of mythology, fantasy, narrative and first-hand human experience that tells the stories of 22 women, their families and friends, and their epic struggles coming to terms with cancer.

In 1999, in a conversation with her friend Eleanor Nielsen at the Canadian Cancer Society, Michelle Tocher was inspired by Eleanor’s dream to relate the experiences of survivors of breast cancer who had adopted the ancient Chinese ritual of dragon boating. That summer Michelle witnessed her first dragon boat race: six boats lined up at the starting line, occupied by women of every age, shape and size — a colorful, happy crowd of ladies in pink — the shoreline crowded with cheering spectators, many of them no longer able to race. Here the master storyteller found the people who could tell living stories about what it meant to meet and conquer dragons.