Non-profit organization Surfing for Hope hosted a surf camp in Pismo Beach Saturday to raise awareness and support for those affected by cancer.
Surfing for Hope combined its Pure Stoke Surf Camp for kids with its Women's Survivor Camp, providing a fun healing experience for those going through similar hardships.
Surfing for Hope founder and survivor Bob Voglin said an often overlooked group of cancer victims are the adolescent and teenage children whose family members are going through the cancer fight.
"I smile, I cry, and I smile some more," said Voglin, "I hope we're passing along some of the stoke that I've felt. I know when I was sick with cancer I had many people in the surfing community that helped me get through my challenge. I used surfing as an impetus to get me back to health so I can still surf even today at 71. Go figure."
Pure Stoke Surf Camp aims to provide a safe, fun environment utilizing the healing energy of the beach and ocean. The foundation hopes young victims can find an outlet to help them deal with the stress of a family member with cancer.
The Women's Survivor Camp is open to women currently undergoing treatment or women who have completed cancer treatment. Oncology health care providers are welcome as well.
The surf camp collaboration included yoga, beginner surf instruction, and a gourmet luncheon provided free of charge. Hematology and Oncology specialist Dr. Tom Spillane also led a brief discussion on survivorship, as well as an update on cancer treatments and resources.
Additional sessions are scheduled for the upcoming months. Pure Stoke Surf Camp sessions are regularly scheduled on the third Saturday of every month beginning in March and will run through November, but check here for exact dates.
As for the Women's Survivor Camp, sessions are regularly scheduled on the third Sunday of every month. Exact dates can be found here.
All surf camp participants must apply and register online at the Surfing For Hope website.