On Saturday, May 1, 2010 the surf community and world at large lost a vibrant soul in 27-year-old Emily Haager. Haager was born with the genetic disease Cystic Fibrosis and engaged in a lifelong battle with the ailment. She championed the cause by becoming a global ambassador for Pipeline To a Cure after discovering that the act of surfing provided measurable benefits to those who suffer from the disease. The New England Journal of Medicine verified the benefit of hypertonic saline therapy, where patients inhale sterilized saltwater to rid the lungs of mucus, ultimately mitigating the effects of Cystic Fibrosis by clearing respiratory pathways. As Haager demonstrated, for Cystic Fibrosis patients, a session in salt water truly does right by the mind, body, and soul – wholly embracing surfing's restorative effects. "Everyone understands how important saltwater is," Haager told LA Yoga Magazine, "not just to ride waves but the benefits mentally and physically."
The Pipeline to a Cure 2010 event, which raised over $300,000 last year for Cystic Fibrosis will be dedicated to her memory.
The Haager family shared this note on Emily's Blog, Life to the Fullest, which has chronicled her battle with Cystic Fibrosis:
On Saturday, May 1, 2010, Emily peacefully went to a place without CF, a place where she can run, surf and breathe without worry. She lived her life exuding love and grace, impacting everyone who ever met her and showing the power of the knowledge of the resurrection of Christ in our lives. We already miss her and are so grateful for the support of everyone who knew Emily and loved her as much as she loved everyone else.
The memorial service for Emily is as follows:
Saturday, May 8th – 11:00 am
First Christian Church
1207 Main Street
Following the service and refreshments, we will invite everyone to go to a nearby beach and put our feet in the water as we remember Emily who loved the ocean. Casual dress okay.
In lieu of flowers – the family has asked for contributions to be made in Emily's name to the Pipeline to a Cure event. If you would like to send a card to her family the address is:
21536 Carriso Road
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
As always, thanks so much to each of you for your ongoing support. It means so much to all of us!
Love, The Haagers