Travis Suit knows time is precious. In November 2011, Suit’s 4-year old daughter Piper was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. The median age of survival for a person with CF is the late 30s, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “We try not to live by a clock, but when you’re living with a child with a terminal illness, there is a sense of urgency and an importance of valuing time as a gift.”
Taking action, Travis turned his focus toward becoming an advocate for the CF community and recently created a nonprofit, Piper’s Angels Foundation, as a platform for advocacy and for Piper to become her own advocate. The foundation is developing an innovative program: the “Salt Supply” program is being developed for children and people with CF to participate in saltwater activities because of the incredible health benefits of the ocean. Saltwater activities have been proven to effectively break down the thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs, and reduce infection rates to help people with CF maintain lung function and live longer. This program has attracted enthusiastic support from the community as an effective and economical approach to augment what is a lifetime of costly medical treatments, and highlighting the medical, physical, and emotional benefits of being in and around the ocean.
Travis and a team of dedicated friends, volunteers and supporters, affectionately named “Piper’s Angel’s”, went on to create a unique fundraiser to raise awareness and financial support for CF families and research.
The Crossing-For-A-Cure Challenge team paddled stand-up for a grueling 90 miles non-stop in a 24-hour period through the mighty Gulfstream from the Bahamas to Palm Beach. The team made the crossing with all the inherent risks that come with such a journey in an effort to honor the physical struggle a CF patient lives with every day. And raised a record-breaking amount. Bravo!
A video from the trip will be used as a documentary later to raise awareness and teach the connection between the ocean and helping people with CF. “The Crossing for a Cure provides a great opportunity to show that no matter what obstacles we face in life, we can always use the gift of choice to persevere.”
Come and meet this awesome father and daughter team who together found purpose in teaching everyone around them about love, hope, courage, and sacrifice, and how to fight to stay strong and positive.