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surfing as healing: farmdog surf school + cancer survivors

Teaming up with First Descents, a Colorado based nonprofit that works with cancer survivors to master physical challenges, Outer Banks own Farmdog Surf School has been teaching survivors how to surf. This heartwarming story by Alison Johnson writing for The Health Journal celebrates the amazing work that these two organizations are doing, and is a great read.

Teaching a cancer survivor to surf. Photo, Farmdog Surf School.

Teaching a cancer survivor to surf. Photo, Farmdog Surf School.

“At first, Robert “Farmdog” Farmer simply wanted to share the sport that has given him the life of his dreams with people who have faced a disease that has tried to steal away their lives.

But as soon as Farmer began teaching surfing to young adult cancer survivors, he realized they had far more to share with him.

“They are such battlers–people with gnarly scars, people who were out surfing about a minute after finishing chemo,” says Farmer, a nationally certified instructor and founder of Farmdog Surf School in Nags Head, North Carolina. “The last thing they want is sympathy or to be treated differently. They just want to charge in. It’s pretty humbling. I think to myself, ‘Would I be as amazing as these people?’ I don’t know. You can’t ever know until you are faced with something so completely out of your control.

Farmer, 46, partners with First Descents, a Colorado-based nonprofit that organizes free outdoor adventures for cancer patients and survivors, most ages 18 to 39. Through surfing, kayaking and rock climbing camps, the organization helps young adults rebuild self-esteem, strength and a sense of hope as they connect with other survivors in their age group.”

Learn more about First Descents and Farmdog Surf School, and read the rest of the story HERE.

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