The Friendship Paddle

Samuel Hefland · Keiki Paddle 2013

Samuel Hefland Samuel Hefland Samuel Hefland

Samuel Helfand is 7 years old and attends Kellogg school in Goleta. In the fall of 2012 he experienced severe pain in his left leg. After various tests and MRIs, doctors found a tumor called an ependymoma along his spine. He had surgery to remove the painful tumor at Children's Hospital Los Angeles in September 2012. That was followed by two months of Proton Therapy radiation at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. Samuel continues to fight his battle with weekly chemotherapy here in Santa Barbara at Cottage Hospital. He also travels to Los Angeles frequently for appointments with his oncologist and for his schedule of MRIs.

Samuel loves to ride his skateboard, ride his bike, play handball and play baseball. He just finished up his baseball season with the Blue Jays in the Goleta Valley South Little League. He had a great season. On typical days you can find Samuel outside playing with his sister Julia and his friends, having fun, and enjoying life.

2011 Keiki Paddle route



"Project Mariposa" is an initiative of the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (theGSF) with a simple mission: to make the world more accessible to those with severe disabilities through targeted technology product grants. Mariposa is butterfly in Spanish -- theGSF's signature symbol -- and like a butterfly emerging from it's cocoon, Project Mariposa will help those with disabilities to spread their wings.

GSF Project Mariposa     GSF Project Mariposa


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Children between the ages of 7 and 16 participate in an open ocean paddle event to provide financial and emotional support to both a child with a life-threatening illness and a non-profit organization that supports children in Santa Barbara County.
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