Board Inspiration: Paul Fraser

I first became acquainted with Row for the Cure at a rainy, windy and ultimately canceled regatta in Seattle. I distinctly remember the positivity, camaraderie, and sense that we as a rowing community were doing something right that morning. Even as boats, unraced, were placed back on their racks – the feeling surrounding the regatta never faded. It was in the same Wendyyear that my mother was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

As with far too many stories, hers is a story of positivity, triumph, relief, recurrence, further treatment and ultimately her death.

To watch as my gym-going, healthy eating, positive-thinking mother became ever frailer, ever more detached and incapable of self-care was ugly. As treatment after treatment and indeed the disease itself took its toll, it became abundantly clear that while there are many triumphs over cancer, we still have a lot to learn and a long way to go.

I do remember, however, that in a somewhat unique and slightly quirky British way – the NHS had given her $100 after ever treatment to buy something nice for herself. Recognizing that cancer treatment is universally unpleasant, they had taken a small step to ease the pain a little, coax a smile from behind worried eyes and share in the understanding that this was a difficult battle to fight.

This small act of kindness meant a lot to her and our family. It was a human gesture in the often far too clinical world of cancer treatment. It was with that that I decided I had to do something to help. I had seen the need for further research, better treatment and patient care and I had witnessed the unique pulling together of a sporting community to help in that pursuit. Working with Row For The Cure was a natural fit.

What I have found here is a dedicated group of individuals, working to make a difference, ease a burden and extend a kind hand of support to those fighting battles in the often lonely foxholes of the heart. This is an organization that cares and certainly one deserving of all the support you can give.


Paul Fraser
Director of Development
Row for the Cure