There is something to be said for taking your passion and drive in sport to the next level. Although, that doesn’t always mean in performance. The story of one East coast kiteboarder raising 12,000 alone for cancer research by doing what he loves most can inspire us to take it upon ourselves to try out something similar. Whether it be with kiteboarding, skiing, or snowboarding, if you get creative enough there are always ways to give back and be thankful for what you do.
Chris Stuckey plans on kiteboarding 24 miles across Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans to raise money for cancer research in the Leukemia Cup Regatta. What makes Chris’s expedition so outstanding is the fact that the Leukemia Cup Regatta is a sailboat race. Chris is the first competitor to do it kiteboarding beginning last year. “I got involved last year for two reasons. My father died of Leukemia (I was 12 years old) and I felt restless and knew I could do more.” Chris has never been a sailor, although he did relate to using wind power.
When Chris went to the organization committee they weren’t quite sure how to take his extreme new variation of the event. The unanimous reaction was pretty much “your going to do what?” Chris recalls. But $12, 000 and an hour and forty five minutes later Stuckey had traveled 24 miles on his kite and went above and beyond his intentions. He first set out the raise $10, 000 and by the last week he was astonished to be seeing his original goal far behind him.
This year, Chris saw the opportunity once again. “I came back to New Orleans for New Year’s with a good-friend and to follow-up with two job interviews. As the weeks passed, the interviews went nowhere and the New Orleans Leukemia Cup Regatta kick-off party was approaching. I got a phone call from the organizer of last year’s event and she said, ‘since you’re in town, you have to come to the kick-off party and speak.’ I agreed but I was hesitant that I would get involved, I’m not even really working right now.”
But despite Chris’s circumstances he was quickly swayed by a story that compelled him to take the reins once again. “While at the kick-off party, I was introduced to Kendall, a 4 year old boy. This year’s regatta is being run in honor of Kendall and a woman, named Stacey. Kendall is the cutest kid in the world and by looking at him today, you wouldn’t know that he is in remission. But this little guy has battled and thus far successfully fought off one of the rarest forms of leukemia for anyone at any age! After meeting him, it was obvious at that moment! I’m going to raise $10,001!”
As Chris began to organize the event he found himself being contacted by more and more people that wanted to get involved. He was no longer the lone kiteboarder with a mission but rather the leader of a group of kiteboarders who felt the same way.
This year the Kiteboard Crossing is going to be different. Chris is proud to announe “it’s a race!” With Chris’s organizational help “each kiteboarding participant must raise minimum $100 to compete” which will go towards the total fundraising for the Leukemia Regatta Cup. Chris already has four people set to compete that have raised over $1000 between them. With the crew involved Chris also set about finding sponsors for auctions and give-aways during the event. So far he has already enlisted eight companies including DaKine, Liquid Force, and Skull Candy.
With only a few weeks before the March 21st race, Chris moves closer to his goal. The meter on his website reads at 36% of the goals with $3600 although with new competitors looking to join and companies getting on board for sponsorship, Chris feels his goal is absolutely attainable.
For more information on Chris’s inspirational story or to donate please go to http://msla.lcr.llsevent.org/pledge/index.cfm?mid=KITEBOARDERCROSSING