Cancer survivor and Newport Beach native Jack Shimko has announced that he will attempt to paddle from Santa Barbara through the Channel Islands to Newport Beach to increase cancer awareness and raise money for the search for a cure. PADDLE2LIVE, will be a 10-day, 150-mile journey for the Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor who will be paddling for a fundraising goal of $500,000.
All funds raised will go directly to the fight against cancer. Paddle2Live will benefit the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Livestrong Foundation to further the search for a cure and make treatment available to those who can’t afford it.
An avid waterman and outdoor enthusiast, Shimko was diagnosed with cancer just days after his 29th birthday. During periods of extreme pain and nausea, Shimko would picture himself out on the water, pitting himself against the open ocean on a paddle board. That dream sustained him and Shimko successfully battled the disease and is currently in remission.
Just 16 weeks into chemotherapy, Shimko fulfilled his vision by competing in the 2009 World Paddle Board Championship in San Francisco. Mild hypothermia and a last place finish did not diminish Shimko’s victory, and he left San Francisco determined to undertake a more grueling challenge that would allow him to use his paddle board as a vehicle to raise funds for cancer treatment. PADDLE2LIVE was born.
“It’s great to be able to use my own survival to raise awareness and help fund the type of research that saved my life,” said Shimko. “In the end, though, PADDLE2LIVE isn’t about me. It’s about contributing to the fight against cancer and the search for a cure; it’s about making sure that all people fighting this disease have access to the care and the treatment they need; and it’s about inspiring other young people to beat the disease and live their dreams.”
Shimko will depart from Santa Barbara on the first 29-mile leg of the 150-mile paddle on September 23rd. He will complete his trip ten days later, on Saturday, October 2nd at Newport Beach Bay.
To reach PADDLE2LIVE’s $500,000 goal, Shimko is encouraging individuals, organizations and companies in California and beyond to get involved in any way possible. To donate and for more information on PADDLE2LIVE, please visit PADDLE2LIVE’s Facebook page at: .
PADDLE2LIVE is a non-profit cancer fundraiser founded by Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor Jack Marshall Shimko. Following Shimko’s inaugural 150-mile solo paddle from Santa Barbara to Newport Beach in 2010, PADDLE2LIVE will serve as a platform for other athletes to participate in ongoing cancer fundraising endurance events in the future.