The Mauli Ola Foundation (MOF) will host five Surf Experience Days in May, with the first event kicking off on May 4 at Cowell’s Beach in Santa Cruz, California. Surf Experience Days were created to get individuals with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) out into the ocean water (which is high in saline and helps respiratory challenges) for a unique one-on-one surfing session with some of the best pro surfers in the world.
Mauli Ola means “breath of life” in Hawaiian, and the 501c3 foundation plays host around the country to a lively and safe beach environment and introduces surfing as a natural therapy for the lungs. The high saline environment combined with the physical activity helps break down congestion in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.
“Surfing and other saltwater sports assist patients to avoid infection, and keep them out of the hospital,” said Hawaiian World Champion and MOF event host, Sunny Garcia.
“It’s amazing to witness what riding a wave can do for the human spirit, but hearing the consistent testimonials of lung function improvements, now that’s a miracle,” said MOF Executive Director, Hans Hagen.
The Surf Experience Day event’s “Ohana Tour” travels to northern California with the first event at Cowell’s Beach in Santa Cruz hosted by local surfing icon Richard Schmidt. Next stop on May 10 will be hosted by MOF’s Hans Hagen at the grassy bluff along the clear waters of 15th St. Beach in Del Mar, California. The third stop will be on May 18 at the birthplace of surfing, Waikiki, Hawai’i at Kūhiō Beach Park. The event will take place in front of the “Duke” statue and hosted by Hawaiian World Surfing Champion Sunny Garcia.
Brian Ortega, Resurrection Fighting Alliance MMA World Featherweight Champion, will leave the ring on May 24 to host the final event in Santa Monica, California, and Orange County’s free-surfer of the year, Teddy Navarro, also known to his Instagram followers @shreddyhb, will rally his pro surfing buddies to host the final event May 31 in Huntington Beach, California.
This May’s “Ohana Tour” marks the 7th year of CF patient support. James Dunlop MOF President says, “We are honored and excited to continue our support for the CF community and look forward to seeing familiar faces as well as meeting new folks this season.”
The back bone of the Mauli Ola program is in its athletes. This year’s effort will host:
-MOF’s vice president and big wave surfer Kala Alexander
-Pipeline aficionado Gavin Beschen
-Six time Triple Crown Champion Sunny Garcia
-Up and coming Hawaiian surfer and recent shark attack survivor, Jimmy Ulualoha Napeahi, a.k.a. Ulu-Boy.
-Along with a host of other great surfers including Shawn Barney Barron, Teddy Navarro and Jason Magallenes.
For the patients who cannot make it to the beach, Mauli Ola pro surfers will be visiting Central California Children’s Hospital-Madera, Sutter Children’s Center, Benioff Children’s Hospital at UCSF, and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University before heading into Santa Cruz for the CF Surf Day.
Mauli Ola wants to give special thanks to the essential partners whose support makes it all possible. Andy Song, marketing director of Flexfit states “on MOF’s 7th year mark of patient support we feel privileged to share the same hope and passion with MOF since the beginning and looking forward to many more years of partnership.”