'ULTRA-MARATHON ON WATER' TO RAISE FUNDS FOR UCLA JONSSON COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER AND THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Sept. 1, 2010—The first annual "PADDLE2LIVE—150 Miles 4 Cancer" fundraiser solo water paddling endurance event, an epic 150-mile journey from Santa Barbara to Newport Beach by cancer survivor Jack Marshall Shimko, will take place Thursday, Sept. 23 through Saturday, Oct. 2. Paddle boarding is a surface water sport in which an athlete on a long surfboard propels himself or herself along by a swimming motion of the arms while kneeling or lying prone on the board.
Shimko, 30, a Newport Beach native, avid waterman and outdoor enthusiast, is currently recovering from Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the part of the human body’s immune system known as the lymphatic system. He was diagnosed with the disease just days after his 29th birthday. After months of chemotherapy and other treatments, he has successfully battled the cancer and is currently in remission.
"PADDLE2LIVE—150 Miles 4 Cancer" is presented by the Quiksilver Foundation. Shimko will attempt the feat in order to raise $500,000 for the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Foundation Center and LIVESTRONG, the organization founded by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Shimko founded PADDLE2LIVE (paddle2live.org), a non-profit cancer fundraiser, to raise money and awareness for advanced cancer research and treatment. The organization's slogan is "It’s Too Easy To Give Up." The organization's first event is "PADDLE2LIVE—150 Miles 4 Cancer."
"It's great to be able to use my own survival to raise awareness and help fund the type of research that saved my life," said Shimko. "In the end, though, PADDLE2LIVE isn't about me. It's about contributing to the fight against cancer and the search for a cure, and it's about inspiring other young people to beat the disease and live their dreams."
"PADDLE2LIVE—150 Miles 4 Cancer" kicks off Wed., Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. in Santa Barbara at the city's harbor with a "paddle out" for all paddlers, surfers, survivors, supporters and others affected by cancer. A reception will follow at the Endless Summer Bar-Café, located at 113 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, Calif.
On Thursday, Sept. 23 at 4:30 a.m., Shimko will depart on the first 29-mile leg of the 150-mile paddle. Ten days later, on Sat., Oct. 2 at 2 p.m., friends, family and members of the paddling community are invited to join Shimko for the final 3.5-mile paddle through Newport Beach Bay. A celebration will follow at The NAC (Newport Beach Aquatic Center), with a barbecue from Bear Flag Fish Co., live music, a silent auction, refreshments and much more.
To prepare for his inaugural "PADDLE2LIVE—150 Miles 4 Cancer" paddle, Shimko competed in the 2009 World Paddle Board Championship in San Francisco. Just 16 weeks into his nine-month chemotherapy treatment, he suffered from mild hypothermia and completed the race in last place. Pleased to have even finished, he headed back to his home in Southern California determined to mount an even more ambitious endurance challenge fundraiser event upon his full recovery.
To achieve his goal of raising $500,000, Shimko is encouraging individuals, organizations and companies in California and beyond to get involved in "PADDLE2LIVE—150 Miles 4 Cancer" in any way possible. Volunteers, logistical support, gear, food, fuel and charitable donations are all needed. PADDLE2LIVE "Paddle Partners" can pledge to personally raise $1000+ for the cause. Online donations will be accepted on quiksilverfoundation.org/donate.
"The generous support of the Quiksilver Foundation and the Quiksilver Waterman's Collection has made this event possible," Shimko noted.
Quiksilver Foundation/PADDLE2LIVE apparel designed by Max Erdenberger will be available at quiksilverfoundation.org and paddle2live.org, as well as local shops and restaurants, with all proceeds going to the fundraiser.
A mobile production crew provided by Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy of the Kennedy/Marshall Company will capture the paddle from start to finish and upload daily videos to paddle2live.org via satellite. Footage will also be logged for an upcoming documentary featuring Shimko and other young athletes who have triumphed over cancer.
Additional support is provided by LIVESTRONG, UCLA, Surfline, Trac Plus, FRS Health Energy, Joe Bark Paddleboards, Haze Media, Rodheim Marketing Group, Duffy Boats, Balboa Boat Rentals, Hill's Boat Service Inc., Bear Flag Fish Co. and the City of Newport Beach. Shimko will receive crucial safety, support and tracking assistance along the route, which includes several deep-water channel crossings in known shark habitats.