John Wayne Cancer Foundation underwrites Camps 4 & 5…. Yeah!

The John Wayne Cancer Foundation has generously funded our Koru Camps in October and November… Thank you JWCF! Here’s a little piece of feel-good from our last camp in April. When you watch this, think about your own “dash” and you’ll never look at a dash the same again!

Prep day before camp is always crazy. Right now I am loading boxes from JWCF (thank you for the sunscreen, bags and visors!) and in 83 degree temps with 90% humidity, it’s less than pleasant. But this is the fun part. So much anticipation, excitement and energy stirs before camp begins! It never gets old.

This morning I met up with Kai Lenny and his Dad, Martin, this morning in Paia for breakfast. What good people. We pow-wowed about camp over Acai bowls and coffee.  I am so stoked to have Kai and his family helping with Camp Koru!  Surfing, standup paddling, and more… I love when passionate watermen (and women) get involved in our program. The enthusiasm they bring for the ocean is so contagious…. this is going to be fun!!

Bear and Jack are doing all the shopping which includes local organic produce, fruits, and fresh fish from the local markets and farms. Goose is prepping camp, getting all the cabins and beds ready. I’m picking up Resource Queen, who is one of our ambassadors and survivors from Camp 3. She lives up to her name. She did a thesis on camps for adolescents and young adults with cancer and used us as her study! I’m on page 62 of 100 pages. She specializes in Art Therapy, and is helping with our art studio and everything else at camp. She is also really good at attracting dolphins while standup paddling.

Each camper received a moving personal letter from Ethan Wayne, son of John Wayne and head of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Ethan talked about his own experience with cancer when his dad was battling the disease, inspiring each participant at Camp Koru to live fully and make the most of the camp experience. Thank you Ethan!

Here are some photos from camp. We had one participant who had never been in the ocean before! Watching her step into the ocean for the first time was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever watched…

Kai came on day 1 to help teach SUP and surfing with Surf Club Maui. Bringing great mana and energy, he was a natural at teaching!

Ninja, a brain tumor mASS kicker (no pun intended!) stood up on the standup paddleboard and paddled! This was an awesome feat for her. The magic moment…


Nalu (Tonia)


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