This short documentary explores the Long Beach dragon boat community through TK Kimura’s inspiring story. TK's mission of bettering herself and the people around her sheds light on the power of love, community, positivity, and fitness. Today these principles strengthen TK’s will to live her best life as she battles ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), a disease she faces after beating cancer 17 years prior.
Kathleen Ly is a mixed-race, Los Angeles-based filmmaker whose objective is to use film to empower and provide underrepresented communities an opportunity to showcase their unique outlook on life and what makes them most proud.
As a Long Beach dragon boat paddler for the past nine years, I have witnessed TK Kimura go from a strong fierce paddler to one who has been physically weakened by a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Knowing that TK had already battled breast cancer 17 years prior makes this diagnosis even more devastating. Despite these setbacks, TK continues to involve herself in competitive dragon boat racing. She is supported by the many, most significantly by Mike Baker, her husband of nearly 40 years, and members of the Los Angeles Pink Dragons (Pinks), a team composed of breast cancer survivors.
My main objectives for this film are to share TK’s inspiring story, inform viewers on ALS, explore the Long Beach dragon boat community, and to shed light on the power of community and positivity.
Some great things have come out of the film. A couple of recent unsolicited funds demonstrate its impact. In the first two days of publishing the video on Facebook, one viewer made a donation to PINKS and another was so moved that she added the ALS Foundation to her will. I believe so much more good will come as the film increases its distribution.