Words by: Rebecca Parsons

Photos by: Jonathan Kemnitz

The 7th Annual Standup for the Cure kicked off in Newport Beach over the weekend with nearly 1,000 participants, 39 of whom were cancer survivors. Paddlers included men, women, locals, folks from out of state and even five women who traveled all the way from Hungary.

Each brought with them their own unique story of how cancer has touched their lives in some form or another. We caught up with ten individuals and asked them what brought them to the event and why it was so meaningful to them. Here's what they had to say.–RP

Nicole Maldonado

Nicole Maldonado (Long Beach, CA)

I'm here because my friend had cancer and she is important to me—anything to support this fight. I've never paddled before so it was cool to come out and try it. My legs are a little shaky but it's cool to see everyone out here.

Mary Jaramillo

Mary Jaramillo (San Marcos, CA)

My mom died of breast cancer, I had breast cancer and anal cancer, and my husband's sister is a survivor twice. Every year we know someone else who's been diagnosed and we just really want to shout out early diagnosis and getting checked regardless of how old you are. I'm just happy to be here and celebrate the people who have overcome.

John Frey

John Frey (Santa Ana, CA)

My wife is a ten-year survivor. This is our second year here, my second, her third. It's a great event.

Stephanie StPeter

Stephanie StPeter (Norco, CA)

I'm a mammographer with Kaiser Riverside so I came out to support my patients and support the cause. We screen our patients, do the diagnostics and prepare them for surgery. So I'm here to stand up for them.

Lindy Lin

Lindy Lin (Riverside, CA)

My sister runs the Kaiser part of it, so I came out for her and to support the cause. My dad is actually a cancer survivor, he had nose and throat cancer when we were kids so I feel like the research is always going to be important. It's definitely an important cause.

Zach Kwon

Zach Kwon (Manhattan Beach, CA)

I came with my dad, he's a radiation oncologist. My grandma has cancer and I like to standup paddle.

Julie Warsheski

Julie Warsheski (San Clemente, CA)

I'm a breast cancer survivor. I love to paddleboard; I think it's just a great outdoor activity. It's the first year that I've done it and it's super fun—food, beer, paddleboarding, what more could you want in an event?

Hilary Slaughter

Hilary Slaughter (Costa Mesa, CA)

My grandmother fought breast cancer and I think it's an awesome way to bring people together, fight for an awesome cause and raise money. As well as the companionship and camaraderie.


Photos and recap from this weekend’s 7th Annual Standup for the Cure.