Staff Report 

The Surfing for Hope Foundation team recently unveiled plans for their first-ever Survivor Surf Camp to take place on Saturday, October 10. 

Established in 2012, the Surfing for Hope Foundation (SFH) was created to help ease the difficulty of battling cancer through the healing powers of surfing and ocean life. The original event, the Surfing for Hope Longboard Surf Contest and Benefit Auction in 2012, was inspired by cancer survivor ‘Helmet’ Bob Voglin as a charity event to help return the support he received during his own struggle.  

Bob partnered with his oncologist, Tom Spillane MD, and others to help offer cancer patients’ financial support on the central coast. Over the years, through their annual surf contest, they have raised over $200,000 for the Hearst Cancer Resource Center, along with many other additional programs to help support those affected by cancer.

“With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we decided to make this camp open to women only,” Dr. Spillane shared. 

The Foundation members made the tough decision to postpone their popular annual surf contest and benefit weekend due to the pandemic and are proud to bring this series of cancer survivor small group summits to the community with a strong commitment to practice COVID-19 distancing guidelines. 

This unique event will be on the shores of Pismo Beach and is open to women currently undergoing treatment or those who have completed their cancer treatment, as well as oncology health care providers. A day of yoga, beginner surf instruction similar to the SFH Pure Stoke Youth Program, and a gourmet luncheon will be provided free of charge to all participants.

In addition, Dr. Spillane will lead a brief discussion on survivorship, including an update on breast cancer treatments and resources. This talk is open to the public, and registration to the retreat is not required to participate.

“As a volunteer for Surfing for Hope, I have seen first-hand how this camp brings so much hope,” said Lee Walton-Poepoe, a breast cancer survivor. As the SLO Oncology & Cancer Care clinical trial director, she encourages those that are facing cancer challenges to sign up and participate, “I want to see all of my fellow women cancer survivors join this camp because of the healing power of the ocean is just amazing. Feel free to sign up with a girlfriend or two; they do not have to be a survivor themselves to join us.”

Due to the importance of safe social distancing, spots are limited, and early registration is encouraged. Find complete details on this unique opportunity to join other women for an informative and fun-filled day at surfingforhope.org/womens-cancer-survivor-camp

Additional activities and camps for all people who have been affected by cancer will be announced in the months ahead. Please visit surfingforhope.org for more information.