Legendary dog musher DeeDee Jonrowe of Willow, Alaska is still as driven as ever, even after competing in 31 Iditarods. Her 5-foot-1-inch frame doesn’t do justice to her unbridled determination. Jonrowe is one of the foremost female dog mushers in the world, with 16 top-10 Iditarod finishes under her belt.
In July 2002, Jonrowe was diagnosed with breast cancer. Just three weeks after completing chemotherapy, she competed in the Iditarod, and placed 18th.
This past year has been especially difficult after losing her father to cancer, but Jonrowe remains upbeat and optimistic, even with the knowledge that her cancer could return at any moment.
“I need to make the most of my time with (my husband) Mike and my friends -- do the best job I can for my dogs, leave the most in the community -- because that’s all that I am promised, is this moment,” Jonrowe said.
Watch all of the videos from our musher profile series, see slideshows from the trail and more on our Iditarod multimedia page. See this video on Vimeo or YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great voices from the Last Frontier. Contact Alaska Dispatch videographer Tara Young at tara(at)alaskadispatch.com