PacSun Pipeline to a Cure Fundraiser Hits Huntington Beach

posted by / News / July 7, 2008

On the evening of July 19, Laird Hamilton and David Kalama will co-chair the PacSun Pipeline to a Cure Dinner Gala, an event at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach, to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The gala is a fundraising campaign recognizing the connection between surfing and the deadly genetic disease.

Hamilton and Kalama are calling upon all surfers to support the event. Current supporters include PacSun, the Kelly Slater Foundation, Todd Elder of Newport Surf Camp, Cordell Miller of Cordell Surfboards, BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. and more.

Expected attendees include the surfing world’s top stars Kelly Slater, Mickey Munoz, Drew Kampion, Jericho Poplar and Gerry Lopez. Other extreme sports leaders are also jumping on board, including skateboarder Tony Hawk and motocross rider Brock Glover. There will be an acoustic performance by Social Distortion.

Hamilton and Kalama jumped on board to support the cause when they met surfer and cystic fibrosis survivor Emily Haager.

Haager, a surfer from Diamond Bar, is the face for Pipeline to a Cure.She has been battling cystic fibrosis since six months old. Lung infections and issues began at age four. She has battled lung infections ever since.

In 2006, the predicted median age of survival was 37 years. Now at the age of 25, Emily stands strong against the odds of doctors’ predictions. A shining smile breaks the barrier of any pain written across her face, thanks to surfing.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease in which a defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clog the lungs and causes life threatening lung infections. It affects 30,000 children and adults in the United States and 70,000 worldwide.

The correlation between surfing and healing surfaced two years ago when patients with cystic fibrosis in Sydney, Australia reported feeling better after hitting the waves, stating that their chests felt relieved as the ocean water cleared the mucus from their and sinuses and lungs. The finding made complete sense, as the top daily treatment for the disease, Hypertonic Saline Solution, mimics a “surf session” for the lungs.

Together, Hamilton and Kalama will lend their time and efforts to raise as much money as possible to further medical breakthroughs to find a cure for the disease. To help raise funds, they are both offering one-on-one adventure days with the donator’s choice of surfing, paddling, canoeing, windsurfing or stand-up paddling. They will also sign posters and memorabilia as auction items and lead a panel discussion based on their “courage” of facing waves, personal health benefits from the ocean and the miracle of the CF connection to their sport.

“Our duties as co-chairmen are to help push the snowball over the hill,” Kalama explained. “We want to help raise as much awareness and get as many people on board as possible by lending our name to the cause. Surfing has been so great to us and now it is our chance to give back.”

Hamilton added, “To me, the healing aspect of surfing for CF patients makes perfect sense to me. I see what surfing has done for me with recharge, recovery and how it affects me personally. Those with CF do not live forever and carry a horrible physical burden that none of us can imagine. This is why Dave and I want to participate in this cause, so that we can help raise money for additional medical research and hopefully find a cure.”

PacSun Pipeline to a Cure will feature an opportunity drawing with a {{{Prius}}} giveaway; auctioned posters and memorabilia signed by Hamilton and Kalama and more. They are seeking additional sponsors and donation items for auction. Visit www.PipelineToACure.com or contact Monika Gilbert at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at mgilbert@cff.org or call (714) 938-1393.

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