What do the Pacific Cancer Foundation (PCF) and Mana'olana's Pink Paddlers have in common? They're both about health, confidence and camaraderie--and this year they've joined forces to bring even greater benefits to cancer survivors.
In April, PCF sponsored the Pink Paddlers for their first-ever race event--the Maui Paddler's Open--a fun event to raise money for the Kihei Canoe Club's keiki paddling program.
This October, the Pink Paddlers will take part in the PCF's annual Paddle for Life voyage, demonstrating that "there is life after cancer," and raising funds for PCF's Patient Navigation Program.
The Mana‘olana’s Pink Paddlers have trained for months in preparation for Paddle for Life, a fundraiser benefitting the Pacific Cancer Foundation’s Patient Navigation Program.
The Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6, event includes a 36-mile open ocean journey across the Au'au channel from Lahaina to Lana'i. Paddlers will spend the night on the island and returning the next day.
In June, Kihei Canoe Club Trainer Ellen Federoff started preparing the Pinks in the TANK--a canoe on land.
In July, PCF Caregiver Support Group Facilitator Linda Tesar-Amimoto, an approved and trained captain with the Maui Canoe Club, took over the Pinks preparation.
"It was a unique challenge" said Tesar-Amimoto, "as some of the survivors had only recently begun paddling following major surgery, after getting clearance from their physicians to embark on their journey of survival. They are an inspiring group of ladies and can definitely inspire others. They sure have warmed my heart and I love them all."
The Pinks train three days a week on the water and take advantage of complementary strength training offered by the Maui Powerhouse Gym.
"Without the partnership between the Pacific Cancer Foundation and Mana'olana, these survivors would never have the opportunity for such an epic voyage," said Mary Dungans, president of Mana'olana. "And without the support of the community and generous benefactors like the Maui Powerhouse Gym, Ellen Federoff and Linda Tesar-Amimoto, they would never be in condition to undertake the voyage."
To make a donation in honor of your favorite paddler, visit www.manaolanapinkpaddlersmaui.org or call (808) 876-1553.