Moving on from Project Koru...

Project Koru’s Mindy Buchanan has resigned from her role as Program Director to pursue national advocacy and policy work in the adolescent and young adult cancer space.

Mindy joined Project Koru in 2015 from OHSU / The Knight Cancer Institute. While at Project Koru, she developed and executed the This is Life program -- a workshop-based weekend event for cancer survivors to build a toolkit for facing their new normal in a variety of areas in life -- finance, career, parenting, relationships, insurance, exercise & nutrition, after-effects and much more.  Fully committed to the mission of helping young adults move forward after cancer, she developed core processes and outcome measurement tools for all Project Koru programming. Building a system for measuring experiential-based impact was a long process, and Mindy paved the path to make it happen.

Mindy’s thorough understanding of the cancer journey from a view of psychosocial support helped her develop a Wellness Guide role for Camp Koru, an integral support role for camp. Her deep understanding of navigating resources of the healthcare system helped Project Koru strengthen relationships and outreach with oncologists, social workers, and cancer centers across the country.

“Mindy is one of the most passionate people committed to this cause of young adult cancer survivorship,”  said Project Koru CEO Tonia Farman. “We are sad to see Mindy leave, however excited for her new focus in policy and advocacy work. She will contribute great things to the cause on a broad and systemic level.”

Project Koru’s co-founder Tonia Farman resides to lead as CEO, bringing in Lindsey Walkemeyer as Project Koru’s new Program Coordinator.

No wind, no matter - KB4C brings community and stoke to the 12th Annual event!

What an incredible Kiteboarding 4 Cancer we had! Despite having nearly zero wind for the first time in 12 years of this event, we still raised over $197,000 (and still counting) for Project Koru, and pulled off the first ever No-Wind Derby in North America!

We learned this weekend that the Patagonia Kiteboard 4 Cancer is much bigger than kiteboarding. This event brings together an incredible community in celebration and support for a great cause no matter what the conditions.

Hundreds of participants traveled from around the country to be in Hood River for the event. With a poor wind forecast and blazing heat, people still purchased registration up to the last minute and fully supported the event -- attending the live and silent auctions, signing up for water floaty races, scoring some incredible gear at the raffles and packing the house at the Friday night Full Sail Kickoff Party at the Ruins in Downtown Hood River. 

The Friday night kickoff party at the Ruins in downtown Hood River.

The Friday night kickoff party at the Ruins in downtown Hood River.

A huge thank you to all of you who participated over the three days in the blazing heat - whether you registered as an athlete, participated in the live & silent auction, kicked it at the Friday night party, put your $ in for the Sunday raffle or just drank beer!

Congratulations to Fred Hope for going out and foiling 20 laps in the lightest conditions ever for the win, and to our own Camp Koru alum Xan Harwood-Karlik for paddling the course and getting a lap in himself!


Thank you to all of our cash sponsors for making it possible for us to run KB4C: Patagonia, Full Sail Brewing Company, Doug's Sports, Evergreen Home Loans, Columbia Pain Management, Tonkin Subaru, Airush Kiteboarding, Slingshot Kite, Naish USA, CORE Kiteboarding, KYLA Kombucha, Gorge Greenery, Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, Cabrinha Kiteboarding, Liquid Force Kites, Ferment Brewery, WOO Kite, Duotone Kiteboarding, Ombraz Sunglasses, and Patagonia Provisions!


Check out all of the sponsors who supported us:

📷 Richard Hallman thank you for your beautiful photography as always! You can download or purchase Richard's shots here for your memory book!

Camp Koru Alumni came from all over the country to be at Kiteboard 4 Cancer!

Camp Koru Alumni came from all over the country to be at Kiteboard 4 Cancer!

#kb4c2018, #survivorship, #kitesurfing, #kitewithpurpose, #cancersucks, #beatcancer, #hoodriver


The KB4C Big Sunday Raffle!

We have an incredible raffle happening down at the Hood River Event Site this weekend as part of the 12th Annual Kiteboard 4 Cancer event. Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20! Here's what's on the list:

Custom Twin Tip Kiteboard with a WOO air & tracking unit from Cogua Kiteboarding, courtesy of our friends at WOO Sports

IMG_3790 2.jpg

Polor Expo - A fun hipster package of hipster-like things by cool hipster brands!

CORE XR2 6m Kiteboarding Kite, Sensor Bar & Calendar - donated by CORE Kites

The XR2 by CORE has massive performance for unprecedented jumps with endless hangtime and is comfortable and easy to ride.


German Beer Package - Really good imported beer you can't get here in the US, donated by CORE Kites

Airush Amp 2 Kitesurfboard:  Donated by Airush, Sam Medysky: 

The AMP II was developed directly from Airush's favorite dedicated all-round surf shape, combining a flat rocker for high speed and control, with a higher curve outline to optimize the maneuverability.


Cascade Kiteboarding Lesson Package for Women:  Beginner kiteboarding lesson, Dakine Women’s Wahine waist harness, growler, and hat.


SUP, Fit & Hydrate - Riviera SUP Paddle Bag, Hydration Pack, a box of RX bars, a Project Koru water bottle, and a 2 hour SUP rental from Big Winds. 

Patagonia KB4C Kit - Stormfront Rolltop Pack with a box of Patagonia Provisions Bars, and a KB4C tee shirt.

How to Support a Young Adult Cancer Survivor When You’ll Never Truly “Get It”

How to Support a Young Adult Cancer Survivor When You’ll Never Truly “Get It”

At Camp Koru, we so often hear our campers say, "Non-survivors don't get it," meaning those of us who've never had cancer don't understand survivorship...and the challenges that come with it.

That lack of understanding by friends and loved ones is a burden. It can not only make survivors feel isolated; it also burdens them with having to explain their challenges - to give examples or try to find the words that just don’t do the feeling justice.

11th Annual Kiteboard 4 Cancer

Our 11th Annual Kiteboard 4 Cancer (KB4C), powered by Patagonia, raised an amazing $192,948 for Project Koru! Project Koru, an Oregon-based nonprofit, runs outdoor-based programming to help young adult survivors move forward in life after cancer. This year’s KB4C also had a record number of participant kiteboarders, with total registrations hitting 249! About 25 kiteboarders either crossed lines or fumbled with other kites in the first 5 laps of the race – when there is the most kite traffic in the race. All kiters safely navigated out of tangles and continued the race.

Kiteboard 4 Cancer kicked off on Friday night with the Annual Kickoff Party, sponsored by Full Sail Brewing. It was a celebration for visitors, athletes, and Project Koru survivors. The band Ten30 rocked the outdoor space at Kickstand Coffee & Kitchen’s, which was expanded for the night to accommodate 300+ attendees.

From the Jetty on the ground:

Just as the first 20 or so kites rounded the first buoy, a bottle-necking ensued! The shifting wind shadow combined with the narrow channel by the jetty created a bottleneck in the middle of the pack. This resulted in tangling kiter carnage on the inside right in front of the event site. Fortunately, this is the one of the safest events and places to get tangled (if you’re going to have a kite tangle) because of the great support from the safety team, event staff, and each kiter on the water. Experienced kiteboarders finessed their way through tangles, weaving their bodies through lines and coming out clean on the other side. More complicated tangles were picked up by event staff at the beach or the jet ski support provided by Cascade Kiteboarding.

Check out the complete Kite Derby results.

There were also tons of activities on the beachfront for spectators all day, including live bands, a kids art tent, silent auction, Memory Wall, Survivors’ Camp Koru lounge, and even a live graffiti artist!

On Sunday, the festivities continued with the Never-Ever-Kiteboarded Race, the Rubber Ducky race, the egg toss, and more kiteboarding!

Kiteboard 4 Cancer event sponsors make this event extra special, and this year was no exception. In addition to being our Title sponsor, Patagonia gave a Yulex wetsuit, a custom RideEngine harness honoring One Way — the story of employee and breast-cancer survivor Michelle Grinsel, a Fletcher Chouinard Designs (FCD) Kite surfboard, and an FCD Surfboard for the Live Auction.

Hood River apparel and sport accessory company Dakine donated all the athlete bags, which came filled with goodies from RX BarSol SunscreenLiquid Force (limited edition KB4C hats) and Spacecraft boards for our top winners, Camelbak water bottles donated by 2nd Wind Sports of Hood RiverSurfsweetsKiteworld and The Kiteboarder Magazines, Columbia Gorge Organics, and Dang Coconut Chips.

Full Sail BrewingOne Breathe KombuchaStoked Roasters, and Arctic Glacier Water provided beverages for participants and spectators. Local catering companies Apple Valley BBQ and head chef from Camp Koru, Ahi from Ahi’s Ohana provided food and fuel for participants.

For our auctions, prizes, and raffles, sponsors kicked in big time! We cannot thank enough YETI for some amazing coolers and ramblers, Palapas Ventana for a trip for the winning fundraiser, Airush Kites for a beautiful kitesurfboard and a Lithium kite, Vela for a trip for two to a winning fundraiser, F One and Manerafor a harness and an F One twin tip kiteboard, Pistil for our lap counter hats and beautiful hats and accessories for the raffle, and Full Sail Brewing for beer and pub gift certificates for our top derby finishers.

Special thanks to Patagonia, Avangrid Renewables, Doug Sports, Apothecanna / Gorge Greenery, Full Sail Brewing, Columbia Pain Management, Evergreen Home Loans, Letters to Me, Cabrinha Kiteboarding, North Kiteboarding, Ride Engine, Providence Cancer Center, CORE Kites, Tonkin Subaru, for making it possible for us to put on this event!