(CBS) — They’ve recovered from cancer and now a new challenge is helping them stay healthy.

CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield says the members of Recovery on Water are all someone you should know.

The history of rowing dates as far back as ancient Egypt, first as transportation, and then as a sport.

Now, it’s being used as therapy.

These women are racing not for honors but against a disease. The activity is called Recovery on Water, and it’s for breast cancer patients and survivors.

“Exercise can reduce the risk of cancer recurrence in survivors of breast cancer by up to 50 percent,” operations director Devlin Murdock says.

Each rowing session begins with taking a nearly 59-foot-long fiber glass boat, or shell, down to the banks of the Chicago River at Bubbly Creek. Rowers sit single file in the vessel.

“It’s changed my life completely. It’s almost like the silver lining of cancer for me. When you feel like you can’t do it anymore — and then you know you can,” rower Robyn Hurtig says.