HOW WE STARTED
At the age of 19, co-founder Tonia Farman's brother, Scott, was diagnosed with Leukemia. For 13 months, Scott braved chemotherapy, radiation, and clinical study tests before passing away in June 2007.
As a pediatric surgeon, co-founder Garret Zallen also saw the effects of cancer on a daily basis at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
In 2007, Tonia and Garret set out to convert their feelings of helplessness into passion, energy, and good, using a sport they loved: kiteboarding.
The result was Kiteboarding 4 Cancer, North America's largest amateur kiteboarding event, designed to fundraise for partner cancer charities.
Kiteboard 4 Cancer evolved into Project Koru as the co-founders explored how to support young adult cancer survivors by combining the healing power of community and the outdoors. Project Koru's first survivorship program began in 2011 with the goal of helping survivors find get their lives back after cancer.