SurFebruary organisers have their sights on a record year and are inviting participants to get on board for cancer research.
Registrations are now open for SurFebruary 2021, a month-long fundraising event that encourages participants to ‘do good while feeling good’. Now in its fourth year, ‘SurFeb’ is a fun event where participants challenge themselves to catch a wave or just jump in the water everyday in February.
The organisers are proud to have had a total of 402 participants jump on board in the past three years, raising more than $215,000 for cancer research. The 2021 fundraising target is $150,000, which would break the 2020 record and bring the event’s fundraising total to almost $400,000. A record 500 participants has been earmarked for the family-friendly, covid-safe fundraising event.
SurFeb partners with Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and 100 per cent of donations raised go directly to this not-for-profit comprehensive cancer hospital. In particular, SurFeb 2021 funds will support vital research into the benefits of supportive care services for cancer patients. This research is conducted by ‘The LivingRoom’, a purpose-built supportive care space at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse where evidence-based complementary therapies like exercise, nutrition, reflexology, acupuncture and mind-body therapies are integrated into standard cancer care. Chris O’Brien Lifehouse focuses on holistic care, treating the whole person, not just the disease. As a national leader in cancer research, LivingRoom practitioners are dedicated to building the evidence base of the benefits of supportive care for people living with cancer.
SurFeb co-founder and cancer survivor, Jenna-Lea Clark, says the healing nature of the ocean, and surfing in particular, made it the perfect fit for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
“Being raised near the water, I know firsthand the positive and restorative impact of the ocean,” she says. “For me, surfing is a healing ritual, and SurFeb is a way for the community to share in this beautiful, healthy pursuit while raising much-needed funds for cancer research.”
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse board director and patient advocate, Gail O’Brien AO, says the SurFeb partnership is one of which her late husband would be proud.
“My husband, Chris O’Brien, was a man of science who came to have a holistic understanding of healing,” she explains. “His illness was a gift which taught us that cancer treatment isn’t just medicine. It is a whole life approach.
“SurFebruary was born out of the same ethos – to transform the lives of people living with cancer – which is the foundation for our close partnership.”
SurFeb was originally inspired by Jenna’s personal battle. Just seven weeks after the birth of her first child (daughter Summer) in 2014, Jenna-Lea was diagnosed with cervical adenocarcinoma, an aggressive form of cervical cancer. As well as life-saving treatment, Jenna was given the opportunity to have another miracle baby, her son Vander, the first born at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
“We had just brought Summer into this world and then were all of a sudden faced with the possibility of me not being here to be her mum,” recalls Jenna. “I look at what we have in our arms today and think, ‘Did I ever imagine in that moment that this is where we’d be only years later?’ The truth is I don’t think I ever let myself think that far ahead back then. Instead, I just kept taking the next step with huge support from my family, community and the team at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. SurFeb is our way of giving back.”
After their experience with cancer, Jenna and her husband, Arron teamed up with their friends, husband and wife Mike Durante and Krista Huebner. The four share a passion for giving back, and have a deep love for the transformative benefits of the ocean.
“SurFeb represents healthy living in every way,” says Jenna. “The money raised will help improve the lives of people living with cancer, and participants will reap the mental and physical rewards of spending 28 consecutive days in the ocean. It’s the ultimate win-win.”
SurFeb is open to all ages and skill levels. Registration is free.
To register, or for more information, visit www.surfebruary.com
Sheree Mutton, Managing Director, Reeton Media
M: 0422 525 443