Southern Boating

Crossing for a Cure: Cystic Fibrosis Awareness

Travis Suit and his daughter, Piper.

Crossing for a Cure: Cystic Fibrosis Awareness

Crossing For A Cure is a long-distance endurance paddle challenge and international championship.

Paddlers will travel 80 miles across the Gulf Stream. This year’s event will begin Father’s Day weekend in Bimini and end in Lake Worth, Florida.

Travis Suit’s daughter Piper was only four years old when she was diagnosed with CF. He subsequently began the event to raise awareness and highlight the healing effects of the ocean on those living with cystic fibrosis.

After learning to paddle and surf as a fun and natural way of healing for Piper, Suit’s mission expanded in 2013 when he and three friends completed their first endurance paddle as a personal challenge to raise awareness for the cystic fibrosis community.  which has now evolved into a movement called Crossing for A Cure.

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. Moreover, in people with cystic fibrosis, a defective gene causes a thick, buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs.

Mucus clogs the lungs and traps bacteria leading to infections, extensive lung damage and eventually, respiratory failure. Additionally, in the pancreas, the mucus prevents the release of digestive enzymes that allow the body to break down food and absorb vital nutrients.

“From paddlers to volunteers to boat captains, this is a monumental effort and it’s amazing to see so many people come together to challenge themselves and each other,” said Suit.

All participants try to raise a minimum of $1,500 for Piper’s Foundation, the non-profit set up by Travis Suit to support the families of the cystic fibrosis community. 100% of fundraising proceeds go directly to the Piper’s Angels Foundation.

Watch: Epic Love

“Epic Love” is a thirty-minute documentary film that follows the one hundred paddlers on an epic  2018 adventure. The documentary won top honors at the inaugural SUP Film Fest in 2018. The SUP Film Fest is the primary fundraising event for Paddle4Good, a Northern California-based non-profit that empowers those with special needs through standup paddling

The 2019 Event

This is a special year. With 225 paddlers and a fundraising goal of $500k, it’s on track to be the most epic paddle yet. For reference, the 2018 event raised over $282k with 100 paddlers. This year is special for Southern Boating as well. Two of our co-workers are guiding a group of paddlers across the Gulfstream as a support vessel.

“I love watching people get excited about this and spreading the positive message of making the most out of circumstances we face,” said Suit.

This year’s Crossing for A Cure is possible because of generous sponsors like title sponsors Bahamas Boat Works, Seacor Island Lines, and Surterra Wellness. Supporting sponsors include Margaritaville and Vertex.

The event concludes with an epic Landing Party on Saturday, June 14th at 10 Ocean Blvd, Lake Worth, Fl 33460, Lake Worth, Florida 33460. Paddlers will arrive anytime between 10 AM to 8 PM.  We’ll be there to support the cause and we have quite a few giveaways planned too. Don’t miss it.

For more information on donating, visit crowdrise.com/crossingforacure.

For more information on attending the landing party, visit the event’s Facebook page. 

By Erin Brennan, Southern Boating June 2019