By Conor Mihell
Professional kiteboarder Tonia Farman launched Athletes for Cancer in 2007 in response to her brother’s yearlong battle with leukemia, the disease that ultimately took his life. While her brother was subject to a suite of medical tests and treatments, Farman resolved, “We needed to do something other than just sit and watch.” The result: a fundraising and athletic challenge for her kiteboarding friends to tap “the healing power of the elements” and raise money for cancer survivors ages 18 to 40 to get their own taste of the outdoors at action sport camps.
A4C’s annual summer challenge has evolved into the Tenacity Games, held this past July in the outdoors epicenter of Hood River, Ore. Besides kiteboarding, this year’s games involved a downriver whitewater kayak competition on the White Salmon River and an eight-mile downwind standup paddleboard race on the Columbia. In the end, athletes raised $42,930—enough to cover the costs of two full cancer survivorship camps.