Tara Haaland-Ford's Page


The Friendship Paddle 2016- Ethan Stewart

Santa Barbara, California

Tara Haaland-Ford's Page

In 2013 The Friendship Paddle brought my family into their family.  As I was in the thick of battling stage 4 colon cancer they became my extended family suppporting us with not only the paddle but whatever we needed.  They gave Jon a goal, something he could train for to support me, something he could escape to from the surgery, chemo, scans, blood draws, fatigue and the roller coaster we call cancer.  My goal was to be able to paddle if even for just a short period but my surgery was moved to within 3 weeks of the paddle and although I tried to just avoid asking the question of the surgeon as to whether or not I could paddle, my good friend just wouldn't let me get away with it.  Unfortunately Dr. Genyk said it was going to be a no go given the fact that if I fell in the water I just might not be able to get myself back up.  He didn't say I couldn't go out on the boat though so I was determined to make it out and experience the paddle from start to finish.  Secretly I was also scheming on how I could still paddle if if was glassy and made sure I had everything I needed to seal up the zipper, as I called it, on my stomach and hoped that I could make it happen.  Unfortunately the paddle was anything but glassy.

It is hard to explain the paddle and the magic that it brings to not only the recipient and their family but also to each and every person on the paddle.  It is pure euphoria.  You can get a feel of what it is like from this amazing video that Paul Westmacott made for our family.  http://vimeo.com/82571691

This year marks my 4th year being a part of the paddle and I am honored to paddle for Ethan Stewart and his family.  Three years ago Ethan was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.  The prognosis did not look good but he defied all odds and keeps on kicking cancers ass!  He recently found out that the cancer is back. Unfortunately, we have that in common but we both know the obstacle is not insurmountable and we will come out on top.  He has opted to go with alternative treatments at this time and as many of you know those type of treatments are costly.  

I had the pleasure of meeting Ethan and his wife the other day and then sitting with Ethan to talk about alternative treatments and the use of cannabis to fight cancer. I could have spent days with him on this subject.   He gets it.  He gets what I've been going through.  He gets the changes that happen when cancer comes into your life.  I am so inspired by Ethan and look forward to supporting him on his cancer journey.  Ethan wrote about his journey and you can read more here: http://www.independent.com/news/2013/dec/19/my-life-paddling-through-storm/

I would be so grateful if you would support me as I paddle for Ethan and his beautiful family.  My goal is $1500 and every little bit counts.  No donation is too big or too small.  

Much Love,

Tara                                                                                                           TEAM TSFC!!

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