Life Rolls On Volunteering, La Jolla 2023

I had the privilege of volunteering at the “They Will Surf Again” event hosted by Life Rolls On in La Jolla, CA this year. The event is a day of working with people living with various disabilities to experience the joy and camaraderie of surfing. It involves working on a small team to safely transfer patients onto modified surfboards that enable them to surf!

David Benavides and Adaptive Surfing Athlete.
Myself and adaptive athlete Tyler, who I had the honor of assisting to surf at the event.

The event was humbling, inspiring, and life-changing. There were lots of tears, smiles, and triumphant shouts of joy as people who ordinarily would not be able to surf were enabled to do so with assistance from us ranging from deep-water lifeguarding and monitoring to holding their surfboard for the entire duration of their ride. My background in mobilizing and transferring patients in Acute Rehab and the ICU was definitely an asset while working this event, but anyone who has a passion for volunteering and a background in water sports can register as a volunteer.

Life Rolls On is an organization that was founded by Jesse Billauer, a three-time adaptive surfing world champion. From their website, their mission statement is:

“Founded by 3X world champion quadriplegic surfer Jesse Billauer, Life Rolls On is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with various disabilities. Believing that adaptive sports could inspire infinite possibilities beyond any disability, Life Rolls On began as a splash into the unknown on September 11, 2001; achieved 501c3 nonprofit status in 2002; and now touches the lives of hundreds of thousands.”

Life Rolls On hosts many of these surfing events in many coastal cities, and I highly recommend involvement through volunteering. Besides the benefit of putting good karma out into the world, I had the opportunity to meet and network with many other amazing healthcare professionals, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, physicians, and even informatics specialists. It was a day that I’ll never forget.

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