HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (Mar. 9, 2010) — To surfers around the world, surfing brings peace-of-mind, a connection to the ocean, a oneness with nature. To legendary watermen Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama, surfing recently has brought new meaning to their lives. When the duo learned that surfing led to a treatment for cystic fibrosis (CF), they joined and soon became leaders within the surfing community to help raise funds for the disease that robs children and young adults of their youth, their health and eventually their lives before most of them reach their late 30s.
On July 31, 2010, Hamilton and Kalama will again serve as honorary co-chairman of the 3rd annual “Pipeline to a Cure.” Hamilton and Kalama have served in this capacity since the inaugural event in 2008, and have been instrumental in raising more than $750,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The fundraiser, which will be held at the picturesque, oceanfront Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa, will once again bring together enduring CF supporters: BJ’s Restaurants, A-Med Health Care, LAcarGUY, Coast Benefit Consultants, Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Nick Alexander Imports, Pac Sun, The Waltos Group of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, and American Airlines. With no public funding, funds raised from the private sector provide a tremendous and critical lifeline to the more than 70,000 children around the world with CF.
“In the mid-1950s children with CF were thought lucky to survive into their early teens,” said Paul Motenko, president, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Southern California Chapter. Today with the support of people such as Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama, our sponsors and countless other supporters and volunteers, CF patients are living into their 30s and beyond. With more treatments and a possible cure on the horizon, we would like to appeal to more like-minded individuals and companies who help these children and young adults live to fulfill their dreams.”
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections, and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
The Pipeline events were created to herald the discovery by Australian researchers who found that CF children that surfed had significantly healthier lungs. Doctors determined that inhaling saltwater mist has a powerful effect on rehydrating the lining of the lungs, which allows CF patients to more easily eliminate bacteria-contaminated mucus. This discovery led researchers to develop a hypertonic saline solution, which CF patients around the world now inhale every day. In essence, CF patients now mimic a “surf session” on a daily basis.
Last year’s event attracted a groundswell of support from the surf industry. Surfers lending their support for the CF cause included Jeff Clark, Mickey Munoz, Jericho Poppler, Gavin Beschen, Kala Alexander, Michael Ho, Julian Wilson, Lisa Anderson, Sally Fitzgibbons, and Travis Mellem. Celebrities who attended include Gabrielle Reece, Eva LaRue (CSI: Miami), Tia Carrere, Tim Salmon (formerly with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Tom Shadyac (director) and performers Chad Petree, Jeremy Dawson, Sisely Treasure, Mikey Martin of Shiny Toy Guns and Kai Kalama and Ryan Kalama of Off White.