The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is pleased to announce that Wahoo’s Fish Taco has become the title sponsor of the 3rd Annual Pipeline to a Cure gala on July 31, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. This year’s gala will be dedicated to CF Ambassador Emily Haager, who at the age of 27 recently lost her battle with cystic fibrosis.
Legendary watermen Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama will again serve as honorary co-chairman of the event, having served in this capacity since the inaugural event in 2008. To date, Pipeline to a Cure has raised more than $750,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to support its efforts to find a cure.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections, and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
The Pipeline to a Cure event was created to herald the discovery by Australian researchers who found that cystic fibrosis children that surfed had significantly healthier lungs. Doctors determined that inhaling saltwater mist has a powerful effect on rehydrating the lining of the lungs, which allows cystic fibrosis patients to more easily eliminate bacteria-contaminated mucus. This discovery led researchers to develop a hypertonic saline solution, which cystic fibrosis patients around the world now inhale every day. In essence, cystic fibrosis patients now mimic a "surf session" on a daily basis.
“With the recent passing of our beautiful CF Ambassador Emily Haager, we are more determined to do everything we can to help find a cure,” says Paul Motenko, president of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Southern California Chapter. “Without the support of sponsors such as Wahoo’s and people like Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama, and the many other supporters, we would not have so many drugs in the pipeline. We would like to appeal to other like-minded individuals and companies who will help these children and young adults live to fulfill their dreams.”
With no public funding, funds raised from the private sector provide a tremendous and critical lifeline to the more than 70,000 children around the world with cystic fibrosis. The last two events attracted a groundswell of support from the business and surf communities. Current and past sponsors BJ's Restaurants, A-Med Health Care, LAcarGUY, Coast Benefit Consultants, Wahoo's Fish Taco, Nick Alexander Imports, Pac Sun, The Waltos Group of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, and American Airlines.
Surfers lending their support for the CF cause included Jeff Clark, Mickey Munoz, Jericho Poppler, Gavin Beschen, Kala Alexander, Michael Ho, Julian Wilson, Lisa Anderson, Sally Fitzgibbons, and Travis Mellem. Celebrities who attended include Gabrielle Reece, Eva LaRue (CSI: Miami), Tia Carrere, Tim Salmon (formerly with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Tom Shadyac (director), and performers Chad Petree, Jeremy Dawson, Sisely Treasure, Mikey Martin of Shiny Toy Guns, and Kai Kalama and Ryan Kalama of Off White.