Surf Legends Support PacSun Pipeline to a Cure

posted by / News / July 23, 2008


Dave and Laird with Emily (the girl with CF who is the face for Pipeline to a Cure) and Judy Burlingham, one of the Event Co-chairpersons.

“It is my dream to go a day without treatments and eventually be the longest living female surfing survivor of cystic fibrosis.” – Emily Haager, the face of PacSun Pipeline to a Cure.

If anyone understands the healing aspects of the ocean, it is a surfer. On Saturday, July 19, surfing legends gathered at the PacSun Pipeline to a Cure, a fundraiser gala at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach dedicated to raising awareness and funding for a cure for cystic fibrosis.

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. Thanks to Pipeline to a Cure, more patients are learning about the healing aspects of the sport, as the top daily treatment for the disease, Hypertonic Saline Solution, mimics a “surf session” for the lungs.

The event highlighted the direct link between surfing and its healing aspects for the disease. Honorary co-chairs Laird Hamilton and David Kalama were joined by Mickey Munoz, Gerry Lopez, Jericho Poplar, Lisa Andersen and others who showed their support for the event that featured a dinner, auction and a rocking performance by Social Distortion. Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong also attended.

The event was also supported by the Tony Hawk Foundation. Hawk was unable to attend, yet stated, “I know a few people with cystic fibrosis, and it is a devastating disease. Pipeline to A Cure helps to raise awareness and funding for CF by inviting the action sports industry to join the cause.”

More than $400,000 was raised through 590 ticket sales, a {{{Toyota Prius}}} raffle and an auction that included vacations at top surf spots and adventure days with Hamilton and Kalama.

Munoz, one of the top sponsors for the event, “What can I say? I’m a surfer and when I saw the YouTube video of Emily, I was taken by her daily fight against this disease. I went surfing with her a few times and jumped on board to help the cause and do whatever I could.”

Emily Haager, the face for Pipeline to a Cure, was ecstatic about the event’s turnout and overwhelmed by its supporters. “I am honored to know that there are over {{{600}}} people here to support the fight against cystic fibrosis and help raise money for research. I believe that this is a changing event for the surf community and for the cystic fibrosis community.”

Haager was thrilled to establish a tie between two main aspects of her life – her love for surfing and the disease that she fights against every day. She delivered a heartfelt speech during the dinner, expressing her thanks to the attendees. It is her dream to be the longest living female surfer out in the water who is also a survivor of cystic fibrosis.

Lisa Anderson will be assisting camps in August that supports the cause. “I’m a softy, so it was easy for me to jump in and help out this local event that includes my closest surfing friends,” she said. “I just wanted to give back. That’s what it’s all about, right?”


(L to R) Dave Kalama, Gerry Lopez, Lisa Andersen, Mickey Munoz and friends

Kalama saw his support as a natural progression from his love for the sport. “In regards to the event’s success, I think that can be attributed to the legitimate connection between surfing and saltwater being an organic healing treatment for cystic fibrosis,” he said. “This tie has motivated everyone here because we all understand it. Everyone understands how important saltwater is, not just to ride waves but the benefits mentally and physically. I mean, you have an injury and you can’t work… you go surf and all of a sudden you feel better! No wonder it’s so easy to call in sick to work!”

PacSun Pipeline to a Cure on July 19 was the first fundraising event for the campaign. Additional events will be held in the future. To support the cause and read further information, visit www.PipelineToACure.org.

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