May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness month and we are excited to announce the Mauli Ola Foundation Shaka Tour has officially kicked off! Our tour name originated from the Hawaiian word “shaka,” which is a Hawaiian hand gesture used to express excitement, say “hello,” “cool,” or “hang loose.” Often paired with a smile, shaka is a popular hand gesture among surfers and their friends.
The MOF crew visited longtime friends at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children and Tripler Army Medical Center to deliver an art hat along with art supplies and posters. Our team of professional surfers and MMA fighters shared uplifting stories and brightened spirits during the visit. It was a great day at both facilities and we cannot thank the staff enough for the countless hours of effort.
Before our Surf Experience Day at Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu, MOF Ambassador Sunny Garcia met a woman who explained her daughter, Ellie, was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer and her daughter’s dream was to one day surf with Sunny. MOF helped make Ellie’s dream come true and the pair surfed for several hours where she caught a good amount of waves and was constantly smiling from ear-to-ear. Tears of joy filled her mother’s eyes while her daughter caught wave after wave with her all-time favorite surfer.
“Meeting Ellie and her mother was great,” said Sunny. “I would do anything to take her illness away.”
Our Surf Experience Day at Waikiki Beach began with a classic Hawaiian blessing to keep us safe and afterwards, we gave a safety instruction rundown of our guidelines, which are comparable with CF community guidelines. A new south swell started to build the night before where 3-5 foot waves were breaking over the reef, which provided perfectly small waves closer to shore for MOF and the crew. We were in good company with one of our supporters Mike AH Choy, where he held his annual surf contest alongside our crew.[MCM1] Good[JC2] vibes and smiles were a-plenty from everyone at our SED!
Once the crew hit the water, it was off to the races with non-stop fun and, just like our tour name, it was filled with tons of shakas all around! We had an amazing amount of support from our ambassadors such as Jamie O’Brien, Kala Alexander, Jason Magallenes, Gavin Beschen , Nissen Osterneck, Ty Simpson Kane, Lower Tynanes, Kainoa McGee, Bailey Nagy, Kamu the surfing pig , Make-a-Wish Owner James Donnelly, event host Sunny Garcia, and many more.
Special thanks to Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa, 808HI-DR8, Scott Sandals, Moya Brand, Hawaiian Springs Water, and Konos restaurant for their support at our kickoff event!
Stay tuned for more updates on our SED schedule and hospital visits!
Blame it on the Beach Boys and my orange Morey boogie board that would send my seven year-old self spinning through Salt Creekâ€™s whitewash. I didnâ€™t know it yet, but some kind of bug bit me goodâ€”the type of bug that constantly keeps an extra body in the lineup. This bug isnâ€™t so rare these days, but itâ€™s been known to cause symptoms like extreme joy when near an ocean, daydreams about the ocean and the constant urge to ride wavesâ€”results may vary!
For the past 12 years, I have been surfing the California coastline as well as a few other spots on the globe. These adventures and more can be found on my blog: confessionsofasurfergirl.com
It is incredibly inspirational to see how MOF changes the lives of many individuals through surfing and other ocean activities. Stoked to be a part of the Ohana!