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Tara B.

I went to Camp Koru’s surf camp in Maui, Hawaii in November 2017 and it was amazing!

I learned how to surf in the beautiful waters of Hawaii. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and The Cassie Hines Shoes Cancer Foundation helped make that possible. I had never been to Hawaii but always wanted to go.

To be able to share this trip with other young cancer survivors was a phenomenal experience. We got to camp out in cabins right on the sand. We would load up in the vans and go surfing or paddle boarding in the morning and then come back to camp for a delicious meal cooked by the infamous Chef Ahi! I would spend my afternoons hanging out with my camp mates and scuba diving. We swam with turtles and one morning when I was paddle boarding I even saw a giant manta ray. It truly was an amazing trip. I got to play around at the lava-covered beaches and even do some yoga on my stand up paddle board.

I honestly had no expectations before going to camp and didn’t really know what I was going to get to experience besides surfing. Camp Koru exceeded any expectations I could have set. The staff was sensational, the food was delicious, and the experience was life-changing. At night we would have campfires where we would talk about issues that affect young cancer survivors. Our conversations were filled with laughter and also tears. It was a very healing experience for me. My favorite part of camp was floating on the paddle board and being completely at peace. I was able to feel so much gratitude for being gifted this opportunity and for battling cancer and just being alive. My week spent in Hawaii was a profound experience that I am so grateful for.

The advice I would give someone who is nervous to attend is just go for it! Seriously, you have faced cancer…now go out and live your life. This camp and the staff are wonderful. Oh and the outdoor showers under the starts aren’t too bad either!

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