Doreen Anderson

Occupation: Retired Administrative Assistant at the University of Delaware.  

Location: Conowingo, MD

My connection to the Conowingo Dam: Neighbors to Conowingo Dam for 20 years.

Story: My name is Doreen Anderson and I am a stay-at-home grandmother. My husband, Dana, and I live in Conowingo and have enjoyed kayaking on the Susquehanna every summer for several years.

In February, 2013 I was diagnosed with a rare form of acute leukemia (APL). During my one-month hospital stay we didn't know if I would ever be able to kayak at the dam again. I underwent daily chemo infusions for most of the summer, but during a break in July we were able to get out on the river again. Just as we merged onto the Susquehanna from the Octararo Creek, we floated up towards a boulder where a mature bald eagle had perched in all his glory.

Seeing his majestic stance so up close and personal still gives me goose bumps! Before he flew away, my husband snapped this picture. I named the photo "Recovery" for the success of the eagles' recovery in the area (we see as many as 30 eagles per day on a kayak trip down the river) as well as for my own recovery.

Kayaking at the dam was the perfect therapy for us during a difficult time. After two more rounds of chemo in August and another bone marrow biopsy in the fall, I am able to report a complete remission status. We look forward to many more kayaking trips to come and hope to have more photos like this one.

Living close to the Conowingo Dam and the natural wildlife resource it provides is truly a blessing. This photograph has a very special meaning to us and I am proud to share it with you.

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