Welcome Aboard the Crossing For A Cure
“I know of a cure for everything: salt water… in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.”- Karen Blixen / Isak Dinesen
Crossing For A Cure Organizer Travis Suit, with his daughter Piper, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 4. Photo by Lori Griffith, Chasin a Dream photography.
Salt air and saltwater can restore the body and the soul, sometimes literally. This is a story about a unique ocean voyage that has a berth waiting for you.
Travis Suit’s inspiration for standup paddling from the Bahamas to Florida is his daughter Piper, who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she was four. “CF” is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time (www.pipersangels.org).
More than 100 paddlers will cover 70-plus miles from Bimini to Florida in the Crossing For A Cure. The Crossing is seeking support boats and offers boat fuel and lodging for captains and crew. Photo by Lori Griffith, Chasin a Dream photography.
When Travis learned that saltwater could be very beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of CF, he immersed Piper in saltwater activities and became inspired to create an ocean-based event that could raise awareness and funds to help CF patients everywhere. Thus was born the Crossing For A Cure.
Travis made his first crossing from the Bahamas to Florida in 2013 with three stalwart friends who traversed 90 miles after paddling continuously for 15 hours. They came to be known as “Piper’s Angels.” Since then, their ranks have grown to include hundreds of inspired paddlers, dedicated volunteers and generous sponsors who work together to support and improve the lives of families in the cystic fibrosis community by raising awareness, offering life-expanding activities and providing urgent financial support through the Piper’s Angels Foundation.
Paddlers gather at midnight in Bimini as they prepare to set out for Florida at the start of the 2018 Crossing For A Cure. Photo by Lori Griffith, Chasin a Dream photography.
This year’s journey from Bimini to Florida is scheduled for June 15, and opportunities for you to become part of the Crossing abound. The event is open to standup or prone boards, surf skis, outrigger canoes and dories, with a potential of $88,000 in cash purses for the competitive categories.
You can paddle as a competitor or a recreational relay member, or sponsor a paddler, a team or the Foundation in any amount. The Crossing crew is actively seeking support vessels and captains (offering lodging and fuel stipends), and looking for volunteers to assist at the Lake Worth Beach landing.
Join or follow the adventure, and learn how the foundation’s “Salt Supply” program is connecting saltwater-based vendors and guides with CF patients.
By Tom Fucigna