SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Feb. 25, 2010 – Surfer Jodie Nelson has partnered with Emergen-C Pink, The Keep A Breast Foundation and Boarding For Breast Cancer to embark upon a historic mission – to become the first woman to paddle the grueling 39.8 miles from Avalon on the island of Catalina to Dana Point, California. On Sunday, March 28, 2010, Nelson will hope to conquer the race on a solo mission, in an effort to bring attention and raise funds for breast cancer research and awareness. The journey has only been completed by a handful of men solo, and this will be the first attempt by a woman. With a goal of raising $50,000, to benefit The Keep A Breast Foundation and Boarding For Breast Cancer, Nelson will tackle the feat, coined “Paddle With Purpose” on a Stand Up Paddleboard during Ocean Ohana’s annual Catalina Challenge.
According to Catalina Challenge Organizer Chris O’Kieffe: “There have only been three or four men to have ever tackled this feat solo. One of them was Laird Hamilton, the 'godfather’ of stand up paddling, and the other, Jared Vargas whom paddled the race in 2009, beating relay teams that had three to four men per team. But it’s very uncommon for people to tackle this race solo.”
Nelson, co-founder of The SUP Spot not to mention an accomplished surfer, commentator and highly respected ambassador of the sport, is undertaking this deed to raise money for research and awareness of breast cancer, a disease that has affected people close to her. Her mother is a breast cancer survivor, her aunt is a cancer survivor and one of her dearest friends is currently battling breast cancer. The event typically sees teams of two-four members race on Single and Double Outriggers or Surfskis, as well as Stand Up Surfboards and Paddleboards. In addition to the punishing distance, the past few years have also produced challenging conditions for the competitors.
“I’m tired of sitting around, feeling like there is nothing I can do,” says Nelson. “I know that paddling almost 40 miles isn’t going to heal my friend or cure cancer, but I know that I can make a stand against this terrible disease that affects so many people. And I am determined to raise money towards research, education, and prevention!”
The partnership between Paddle with Purpose and Emergen-C Pink came easy with Pink’s commitment to making a difference. “Pink is about power, strength, and energy in so many ways and Jodie Nelson’s journey embodies healthy choices for today and hope for tomorrow,” says Emergen-C Brand Manager, Meghann Seidner. “Since the inception of Emergen-C Pink, a portion of all sales is donated to fund breast cancer awareness, research and prevention efforts with over $200,000 so far donated to The Keep A Breast Foundation.
Nelson completed the Catalina Challenge race in 2009 as a relay with another woman. “Last year’s race was the most physically and mentally grueling thing I have ever done in my life,” says Nelson. “This year I have been training using Emergen-C Pink which offers an electrolyte boost, which is the perfect companion for an endurance mission like this.”
She continues: “I’m setting out to do something that is, for me, super intimidating, unknown, and something that I have a good chance of failing at. But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t do it! This isn’t about me. People battling cancer go through similar feelings that are magnified to a much grander scale. They are battling a life threatening disease that is intimidating and unknown to them.”
Proceeds from Nelson’s “Paddle With Purpose” will go to leading breast cancer organizations The Keep A Breast Foundation and Boarding For Breast Cancer.
To donate, visit: firstgiving.com/paddlewithpurpose and to track her epic journey visit paddlewithpurpose.com
About Jodie Nelson
Jodie Nelson gracefully walks the line between accomplished competitor and soul surfer. Her natural charisma, athleticism and commitment to surfing have made her one of the sport’s best and most highly respected ambassadors. She has received praise for her on-camera hosting at the X Games, Fuel TV, and numerous webcasts, and has appeared on the pages of such magazines as Elle, Lucky, CosmoGIRL!, Seventeen and Jane. Jodie and a business partner recently started a company called The SUP Spot, which focuses on all things Stand Up Paddling. In addition to her surfing, Jodie is an accomplished photographer, an avid traveler and loves playing guitar and songwriting. She currently resides in San Clemente, California.
About The Keep A Breast Foundation (KAB)
The Keep A Breast FoundationTM is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to help eradicate breast cancer by exposing young people to methods of prevention, early detection and support. Through art events, educational programs and fundraising efforts, we seek to increase breast cancer awareness among young people so they are better equipped to make choices and develop habits that will benefit their long-term health and well-being. keep-a-breast.org
About Boarding For Breast Cancer (B4BC)
Boarding For Breast Cancer is a non-profit, youth-focused education, awareness, and fundraising foundation. Our mission is to increase awareness about breast cancer, the importance of early detection and the value of an active lifestyle. b4bc.org
About Alacer Corp, makers of Emergen-C®
For more than 35 years, Alacer Corp., based in Foothill Ranch, California, has been an industry leader and innovator in developing, manufacturing and marketing dietary supplements and nutritionally-enhanced products that support an energetic, healthy lifestyle. It produces over 400 million packets annually of Emergen-C, which is sold in health food stores, supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchandisers and club stores nationwide. emergenc.com