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Surfboards in Solidarity:
UC San Diego Moores Cancer
Center Hosts Survivor Beach June 19
For the fifth year, survivors, surfers and friends will attempt to form record-breaking line of surfboards, showing support for cancer survivors and research at UC San Diego

June 10, 2011

By Jade Griffin

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Survivor Beach
More than 250 lined up last year in the support of a cure for cancer at Survivor Beach.

Hundreds of surfers, cancer survivors and friends will gather together, with surfboards in hand, on La Jolla Shores Sunday, June 19 for an annual San Diego tradition: Survivor Beach. Attendees will place surfboards along the edge of the shore, nose-to-tail, from Scripps Pier down La Jolla Shores, with the goal of forming a record-breaking line of several hundred surfboards. Now in its fifth year, Survivor Beach provides a stunning visual demonstration of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center’s commitment to finding a cure for cancer and supporting those who have fought the devastating disease.

Sponsored by biotechnology company Genentech, Survivor Beach is free and open to the public. This one-of-a-kind event will take place from 8-10 a.m. and is a precursor to the 18th annual Luau and Longboard Invitational, which is slated for August 21. The goal of both events is to raise awareness and critical funds for research, patient care, and outreach and educational programs at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, the region’s only Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated by the National Cancer Center Institute.

Cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States, and it is estimated that one in three people will fight cancer at some point in their lives.

“Survivor Beach is a dynamic illustration of the breadth and depth of San Diego’s support for the quest to find a cure for cancer,” said Dennis Carson, MD, director of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. “Thanks to the backing of our local community and friends, we are able to make incredible scientific breakthroughs which have real impact in the battle against cancer. Each day, we come closer to conquering this disease.” 

Survivor Beach
A young attendee joins Survivor Beach in honor of her father and her grandmother.

At last year’s event, more than 250 people joined forces to create a surfboard line of more than 1,425 feet or almost five football fields. This year organizers of Survivor Beach hope to top that length.

Terry Ash is co-chairing this year’s Survivor Beach. As one of the original founders of the annual Luau and Longboard Invitational fundraiser and a past member of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center Board of Directors, Ash is a passionate advocate for the research and care provided by the Cancer Center. But it wasn’t until two and a half years ago when Ash was diagnosed with head and neck cancer that the cause became truly personal.

Since that time, he has undergone 100 treatments including radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. Ash remains optimistic and hopes to share his positive outlook with those who may need it on June 19.

“Survivor Beach can encourage existing patients that they can beat this,” said Ash. “I hope we can reach out to the survivors, as well as the people who are equally touched and have sacrificed so much: the caregivers. In many ways, family members are true survivors, too.”

Jessica Yingling, co-chair and founder of Survivor Beach agrees: “This is a tangible way that individuals can show their support in the quest for a cancer cure and pay tribute to those who have battled the disease.”

She continued: “Private donations and financial support from the community are key for the Cancer Center to continue to pursue groundbreaking research and innovative programs for our fight against cancer.”

The person to bring the most surfboards for the line-up will receive a special prize. In addition to the spectacular surfboard display, local musician Christopher Dale will entertain the crowd with live music and Heali’I’s Polynesian Revue will perform authentic dances. Survivor Beach participants will receive commemorative souvenirs and have a chance to win a pair of tickets to the annual UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center Luau and Longboard Invitational, which will take place Sunday, August 21.

Celebrating 18 years of surfing for a cure, the Luau and Longboard Invitational has raised more than $5 million to fund groundbreaking cancer research at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.  For more information about sponsorship opportunities, team entries and tickets for the Luau and Longboard Invitational, contact the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center at (858) 534-6797 or visit www.longboardluau.org

Survivor Beach registration starts at 8 a.m. on June 19 on the beach by Scripps Pier.  For more information and directions, please visit www.longboardluau.org/survivorbeach.html.



Media Contact:
Jade Griffin, 858-822-5309, or jadegriffin@ucsd.edu
Laura Margoni, 858-822-2485, or lmargoni@ucsd.edu

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