Palm Beach Gardens-based Piper’s Angels Foundation will host its annual fundraising epic, the Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis, June 25. In celebration of its tenth anniversary, more than 200 paddlers will set out from Bimini to Lake Worth Beach to support the families of those suffering from cystic fibrosis.
Participants in Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis depart for Bimini June 21. At midnight on June 24, they depart Bimini on stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes, paddling through the night to arrive in Lake Worth Beach some 12-16 hours later. The paddlers will be greeted by friends and family in a beachside celebration.
Piper’s Angels and the Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis were founded by Travis Suit, whose daughter, Piper, now 15, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age four. An avid paddler himself, Travis learned about the benefits that salt air has for those with this chronic disease. As Travis joined the cystic fibrosis community, he was inspired to help other families in his situation care for their loved ones.
“From expensive yet lifesaving medication to hotel stays near hospitals to support at home, cystic fibrosis families need help,” Travis said. “In recent years, the lifespan for those with cystic fibrosis has greatly expanded due to new medications, as well as research showing the benefits of fresh, clean air and salt air. But there are so many families in the world who don’t have access to medication, advanced medical care, or even clean air.”
Piper, an ingoing high school sophomore who splits her time between Jupiter and Melbourne, is an honor roll student and a varsity cheerleader. For the first time, Piper will paddle in The Crossing.
To date, The Crossing has raised more than $2,750,000. The funds support urgent financial assistance for families, the “Forever Stoke” water sports scholarship, the “Unmasking Mindfulness” eight-week meditation program, and the “Peer to Peer” mentorship program. Last year, 204 families were served through the Piper’s Angels Foundation.
Each team will be accompanied by a safety boat with volunteers to ensure that paddlers have food, water, and are kept safe during The Crossing. A team of safety personnel will accompany the boats and paddlers, and the Coast Guard is notified of the float plan.