Saturday, August 18, 2007

Oceans of Hope: The People Behind the Paddleboards



Profiles of a few of the paddleboarders and fundraisers for Sarcoma Alliance:

NICK ALFORD
On August 26th I will enter the waters off Catalina Island and embark on a 32 mile open-ocean paddleboard race, finishing at Manhattan Beach. The Catalina Classic paddleboard race may be one of the most gruelling endurance events on water, but shadows in comparison to the daily fight against cancer. Every day, courageous cancer patients devote hours in treatment, preparing for surgey, or resting up for another week of radiation. It is this dedication and strength that motivates me. My involvement in the Ocean of Hope and dedication to this cause is in honor of everyone affected by cancer and to all those who have the strength and courage to face insurmountable challenges on a daily basis. Through the Ocean of Hope campaign, we hope to raise awareness about Sarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. 100% of the proceeds raised are donated to the Sarcoma Alliance, which helps provide guidance, education and support to those people and families with this deadly disease. Last year through the Ocean of Hope we were able to raise $50,000 for the Sarcoma Alliance! We hope to exceed that amount this year. Your support and donations are greatly appreciated and will endure far beyond the 32 mile span of the Catalina channel. Mahalo!

MATT BELANGER
As most of you know, I will be competing again in the prestigious and grueling Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race this August. For those unfamiliar with the event, “The Classic” is a 32 mile open ocean crossing from the Island of Catalina to the Manhattan Beach Pier. Using only your arms to paddle long "surfboard-like" boards, it is a test of strength, endurance, and will, which can take anywhere from six to eight hours, depending upon conditions. Now with two “Classics” under my belt, I am looking forward to my 3rd consecutive. The experience is both humbling and rewarding. Like the previous two years, I will be paddling for both personal reasons, and for a campaign called the Ocean of Hope. The Ocean of Hope consists of a group of both national and international paddlers who dedicate the Catalina Classic Race to raising awareness for the Sarcoma Alliance, in turn sarcoma cancer. Sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that mainly attacks the connective tissue of the body. Through the Ocean of Hope, I have had the pleasure of meeting Sarcoma Survivors at the finish line. Hearing the stories about their fight and putting a face behind the cause, is what continues to drive me every year to compete. Truly, they are paddling a Catalina Classic almost every day.

GENE BOYER
Last year I was proud to have raised $4615.00 for the Sarcoma Alliance as a fund raiser. This year I will paddle the 32 mile race from Catalina Island to the Manhattan Beach pier. The Ocean of Hope campaign is a group of paddlers dedicated to supporting families with a loved one striken by this deadly cancer. Please help me reach my goal to complete this grueling paddle and support those with an even more grueling life experience.

JEFF BRADBURY
Hello and thank you for visiting my fundraising page. I will be paddling again this year in the Catalina Classic, as a part of the Ocean of Hope team. The “Classic” is a 32 mile paddleboard race across the Catalina Channel. As most of you know, last year’s race did not go too well. With strong winds, large swells and my lack of experience in the sport, I struggled for nine and a half hours to finish the race, but with a little luck, I made it. I’m back again this year to challenge the Catalina Classic one more time; not to try to better my time, but to once again join the fight against cancer, raising much needed support for the Sarcoma Alliance. The fight against cancer continues to be a difficult one. Now 5 years after Suzanne lost her fight to synovial sarcoma and with the sudden and shocking loss of aunt Mercedes to leiomyosarcoma, the importance of the services provided by the Sarcoma Alliance and groups like it, could not be more clear. The passing of Mercedes Capati, my wife Ria’s dearly loved aunt was a shock and a tremendous loss to us all. She was much like Suzanne and others who have had to face cancer, in that she fought the disease with the courage, determination and positive attitude that I admire so much. So I dedicate my race to the memory of this wonderful woman. Though I had the privilege of knowing her for only a short time, the impact she had on me was truly profound. The Sarcoma Alliance provides much needed guidance, education, and support to anyone affected by sarcoma. Early and appropriate intervention can make a difference in survival. Together we can make a difference. The survival of this organization is due to the generosity of supporters such as you. Any amount that you can contribute to the Ocean of Hope campaign to help me reach my goal of $5000 would be greatly appreciated. As a member of the board of directors of the Sarcoma Alliance, I thank you on behalf of the many people we serve for your kindness and support.

JANE CAIRNS
On Sunday, August 26th, I will be paddling the 32 mile Catalina Classic in honor of the Ocean of Hope campaign. Please help me reach my goal of helping those people affected by cancer. I am also paddling this year's race in honor of my dad. He is the one who taught me about strength and courage. Again, this one's for you, dad! (Pictured above.)

KYLE DANIELS
On Sunday August 26th, Team O2H, will for the eighth year, paddle the 32-mile Catalina Classic, from Catalina Island to Manhattan Beach pier, in honor and support of those who are afflicted by cancer. In my 2007 campaign for the Catalina Classic Championship, I have joined in this great team of paddlers to help those who aren't as fortunate as I to paddle this great race. The Ocean of Hope paddlers dedicate the race to everyone affected by cancer and to all those who have the strength and courage to face insurmountable challenges on a daily basis. All donations go directly to the Sarcoma Alliance, which helps provide guidance, education and support to those people and families with this often deadly disease. Your support and donations are greatly appreciated and will endure far beyond the 32 mile span of the Catalina channel. On behalf of the entire team, I thank you for your continued support of our campaign and those that we paddle for. I hope that you will again take this opportunity to support the Ocean of Hope (O2H) and the Sarcoma Alliance.

SCOTT LOOS
I lost my mother to cancer and know many others who have been affected directly or indirectly by this awful disease. I’m grateful for the opportunity to join team Ocean of Hope and marry my love of paddling with their fundraising efforts on behalf of the Sarcoma Alliance (www.sarcomaalliance.org). On August 26th, 2007, team O2H will compete in the Catalina Classic, a 32 mile, open ocean paddleboard race from Catalina Island to Manhattan Beach. This is the eighth year team O2H has paddled on behalf of the Sarcoma Alliance and it will be my first as both a team member and a competitor. I’m dedicating my race to all who have battled cancer and I’m confident that their fighting spirit will give me the extra gas to make the crossing. Please join me in supporting this great cause. Thanks, Scott.

MARITES TULLIUS
My dear friend Suzanne died of synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in August 2002 at the age of 35 after a 10 year struggle with the disease. After a brief remission, the last 5 years of her life were spent with chemotherapy, radiation and 8 surgeries to remove recurrent tumors from her right lung and around her heart. She also spent that time working as an RN, going to graduate school to get her masters degree and forming an organization called the Sarcoma Alliance. It was during that time that she realized how alienating the rarity of this disease was and wanted to do something about it. She opened a website, gave it a name and tirelessly answered phone calls, emails and letters from the living room of her home.

Suzanne worked hard, laughed a lot and she never complained. She was truly inspiring and amazing. So when she asked me to help back in 1999, how could I refuse? It has been a roller coaster ride ever since. We weren’t sure the Sarcoma Alliance would survive her loss. But 5 years after her death, the organization has grown tremendously and has helped many, many people nationally and internationally. I continue to volunteer for this organization in the memory of Suzanne as well as in honor of many others whom I’ve had the privilege to know and who continue to inspire me as they live with this disease.

The Sarcoma Alliance provides much needed guidance, education, and support to anyone affected by sarcoma. Early and appropriate intervention can make a difference in survival. Together we can make a difference. The survival of this organization is due to the generosity of supporters such as you. Any amount that you can contribute to the Ocean of Hope campaign to help me reach my goal of $5000 would be greatly appreciated.

As a member of the board of directors of the Sarcoma Alliance, I thank you on behalf of the many people we serve for your kindness and support.

See many other fundraiser profiles at http://www.sarcomaalliance.org/master.html?Page=oceanofhope

2 comments:

Eric Weaver said...

If you need help with the paddleboard people during or after the competition or whatever, please let me know. My girlfriend and I have 2 Seadoos and willing to help out.
Thanks,
Eric Weaver

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