Organizations

 

SurfAid International Pledge Drive

A few years ago I visited the Mentawai Islands with the Surfer Medical Association. We held a one day medical clinic on the island that is adjacent to the thick barrels of Kundui. Our group from California, Hawaii and Guam, brought medicine and medical supplies from our various medical facilities. We also donated much needed mosquito nets to the village, as mosquito borne illnesses are a leading cause of death.

Medical care for the many islands in the area was the responsibility of one overwhelmed nurse, and was delivered out of a third world structure consisting of 4 walls and a dirt floor. Some patients seen were treated with antibiotics for severe infections, others were advised that they needed to make the long near impossible trek to Sumatra for surgery, and a few were noted to be terminally ill as a result of mosquito borne illnesses.

Andrew Griffiths from Surf Aid International set up the logistics of the clinic. His and the founder of Surf Aid, Dr Dave Jenkin's dedication to helping the people of the Mentawai Island chain is heroic. Their efforts are featured for a second time, in the current issue of Surfer Magazine.

Surf Aid International

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This man was brought in by his family on a homemade stretcher. His leg was covered with deep cuts and severe abrasions in which maggots/worms were crawling out of.

I've never heard of anyone getting skunked in the Mentawais. The NewportSurfShots.com guy @ Maccas

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Numerous wheel chair bound surfers, one an 11 year old quadriplegic, another which came from New York for the event, inspirational Jesse Billauer, a number of cameras,an abundance of big hearted volunteers, a shoreline full on cheering spectators,small wind blown surf, big smiles, and rain clouds that parted to sunny skies. This was "Wheels 2Waters" @ Blackies

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Life Rolls On

Jesse Billauer Winner of "They Will Surf Again"An Expression Session brought to you by Life Rolls On
My professional career deals with medicine, and occasionally I see quadriplegics come through the operating room with a host of pathologies. Besides having no use of their lower extremities and limited use of the upper ones, quadriplegia's deal with a number of additional medical concerns. They are at increased risk for decubitus ulcers, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia,urinary tract and kidney infections, depression, gross atrophy, unrecognized injury due to loss of tactile sensation, and have a decreased life expectancy. Worst of all, a flux in body temperature can initiate Autonomic Dysreflexia, which can quickly result in death. Most quadriplegics spend their lives diverting these conditions, and focus their energies on maintaining a normalcy in their lives. So when you see a remarkable individual like Jesse, getting out of his chair, and leaping huge obstacles to get into the water , in the name of advancing research, know that this is extraordinary. What you are witnessing is an amazing human being, doing a truly amazing thing. Please drop by Jesse Billauer's Life Rolls On site, and help him stand tall.

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Walking On Water

Like everyone in the "Newport surf getto" 20 years ago, I was living in a duplex that was stuffed with as many roomates as we could cram into it. Succeeding in school was difficult as all the drama and happenings in the area made for way to many distractions. So I decided to go away to a school that was far removed from the Newport surf, social and party machine. Point Loma Nazarene College sits on a cliff overlooking the world class surfing reefs of Sunset Cliffs. On campus drinking, swearing and even dancing was prohibited, and attending chapel 3 times a week between classes was mandatory. Needless to say, it was a far cry from the fickle beach breaks and frequent keggers of Newport. The surfers that attended Point Loma were some of the greatest people you could ever hope to meet. A few of them back then used to talk about a world class surfer that surfed the San Diego area, and was a devout Christian. Years later this guy made a successful surf movie called Changes, that premiered in theaters throughout the world, and became a successful vehicle for drawing numerous surfers to Christ. Today the maker of Changes, Bryan Jennings, is as busy as ever. He recently completed the much talked about surf movie staring C.J. Hobgood and friends, called The Outsiders. He's currently producing his next movie Noah's Ark, he's involved in running overnight Christian surf camps, and he's busy running his Christain nonprofit organization, Walking On Water. Check out his web site @ WalkingOnWater.com, and if you ever get a chance to see one of his movies or support one of his many projects, I urge you to do so. Bryan Jennigns pointed towards the heavens @ Lowers

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RSD

Adele, pictured above, became disabled by a surfing accident. In 1981 she was the number one amateur female U.S. surfer. Three weeks prior to the World Championships in Australia, she was surfing her home break in Florida, when a longboarder dropped in on, and hit her. The longboard fractured her skull, knocked her unconscious, and resulted in Adele spending 6 months in a wheel chair and another 3 years requiring the use of a cane. Unfortunately it also left her with chronic debilitating pain, equivalent to that of end stage cancer patients.

She and her husband moved back to California soon after the accident, as the medical community in Florida was unable to provide treatment. Five years ago her symptoms were finally diagnosed, RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy). RSD results in the nervous system being on overdrive, whereby even the slight brush of a finger can cause excruciating pain. There is no cure for the syndrome, and presently she is enduring up to 40 injections per week in her neck, shoulders, back and arms. You'd think a painful ailment such as this would keep her out of the water, but no way. Her husband of 19 years carries her board and equipment to the beach, and when required, pulls her into the lineup.

Adele has now started an Organization called RSD or "Reaching beyond Surfing Disabilities". Her hope is to help people that are disabled enjoy all forms of water sports. Additional she hopes to raise funds for special equipment needs and various medical assistance programs . Legend women's surfer Jericho Poplar has signed on as a program director. Keep an eye out for this organization, which is planning to set up booths at beach festivals and surf contests in the future.

 

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