We said many times that the best part of the Searching for Sero adventure is the people we meet. We are constantly amazed by how inspiring, motivating and caring they can be. We also have had the chance to meet wonderful community leaders that constantly share their love for the sport and for life with the world. I guess, I had not realized the amplitude this could take until this morning. I got a little (lot) emotional when I realized what some of our new friends accomplished.
Remember Troy’s story? We had met him last december during an impromptu visit to Seattle. Troy is a wonderful human being. He’s always been connected to sports in one way or another, but his passions took a completely different turn when, a few years ago, his wife was diagnosed with cancer. His feeling of helplessness motivated him to start Monster and Sea.
He started by designing t-shirts and apparel and sell them, raising money to help people and families dealing with cancer. Every time he raises $1000, the money is put in an envelope and delivered directly to those in need. Soon enough though, he wanted to do more. He decided to start a 24h relay stand-up paddling event as a mean to raise funds and inspire people to do the things they love. His motto… Go because you can! Troy’s team raised $7000 the first year with his paddling event so the following year, he decided to try to expand the concept. At the same time, 7 teams in different cities had their own 24h paddle. When we met him in december, he was dreaming for year three to be even bigger.
Now, he didn’t say how big his dream was, but I am certain he is happy with the turnout. This morning, 22 crew of 6 paddlers in different cities in the US, Canada and the Caiman Islands finished paddling in relay for 24 hours. I don’t have the final number but last I saw, they had managed to leverage the generosity of thousands of donors and raise over $75,000 by doing the thing they love. They fought fear, tiredness, weather, cold to help people fighting an even greater battle.
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Less than a week away. The teams are starting to get their boxes with envelopes and jerseys. Super psyched! . #Repost @isladream671 with @repostapp ・・・ Less than a week away!! #MonsterAndSea24 #TeamBellingham consists of 6 guys who will be rotating out for 24 hours to paddle and raise funds for 5 families in the local area who are affected by Cancer. 3 of these envelopes have been filled, the guys are very close to filling a fourth! Your donation could help them make their goal to filling all 5 so please click on the link below to learn more about this amazing event and donate 🙂 #CancerSucks #GoBecauseYouCan #MonsterAndSea #Imua https://www.gofundme.com/monster-sea-24hr-paddle-bham
What is most interesting tho me however, and it speaks to the closeness of the SUP community as much as to the quality of the people we met on the road, is that 4 of those teams had a member featured as part of our Sero Stories. Troy, it goes without saying, was one of them. But there was also, Chad, who paddled as part of team Canmore, Lina, as part of team Vancouver and Tamlyn with the Kelowna team.
These fellow make us so proud. They are engaged in their communities year around, inspiring people to get out and going through with their own charity work, yet they find the time and energy to respond present when an opportunity to do more good presents itself. I am so proud of them, for what they did and for who they are but most of all, I am deeply grateful to have met them. They are the kind of people who make the world a better place. To Troy, Lina, Tamlyn, Chad and the other 128 paddlers, thank you!
Now, I know their paddling event is over (for this year) but you can still support them. If you want, I believe you can still donate to the different teams. You can also share words of appreciation and thank them for what they have done. You can follow Monster and Sea Facebook or Instagram feeds to find the information you need. You might also be thinking, heck, I can put together a team for next year and help people in my community! For that, I suggest getting in though with Troy (after letting him rest for a bit). After all, we can all be vectors of change. And giving from the heart changes you as much as it changes the world. Are you ready?
Go because you can, spread love because you should, appreciate life because it can be taken away in a heartbeat!