McGibben · The Friendship Paddle 2010        

Doug McFadden

Doug McFadden

Tim McGibben, 42, is a father of two boys and a baby daughter born on October 12. In November of 2009, Tim was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. The radical surgery removed the tumor but the diagnosis came back as a very rare type with an unknown prognosis. Tim is now in the middle of chemotherapy struggling to survive.
Will Reichel, 13 and also a Hollister Ranch resident, nominated Tim for TFP. He recognized what we do for families struggling to recover from life threatening disease while raising a family. Will worked behind the scenes to gather information and filled out the application for Tim. It was a convincing match!

Tim found a shell on the beach a few weeks before his cancer surgery. Of all things, it had a golf ball stuck in it! He had been told the tumor was golf ball size and immediately wanted to chuck that damn ball into the ocean. Tim kept the shell with the ball inside and planned to someday paddle off the coast and symbolically get rid of it. He was informed he had been selected by TFP to be the 2010 beneficiary. Tim knew then what to do with that damn ball and shell. He decided to drop it into the middle of the channel, in as deep a spot we can find, and rid himself of the cancer.

We paddled for Tim and Kara on October 23. The weather had been very questionable leading up to the paddle but gave us a window of manageable conditions. The start from inside Painted Cave was moving. A large group of paddlers entered the mouth of the cave and formed a large circle. Past beneficiaries were remembered as representatives exited the cave in the order of their paddle.

The seas were confused at best but we made good time to the middle of the channel. Tim announced it was time to get rid of his shell with the golf ball stuck inside. Another circle was formed with every paddler holding hands. Tim showed everyone the shell and threw it into the middle to loud cheers from everyone.

The Beneficiary Team paddled the entire distance, 7 hours in difficult conditions. This was a first for TFP! They refused to pick up their paddler and motor to the front. They were determined to show Tim all of their support by completing the journey, no matter how painful!

The landing was emotional. Tim paddled to the beach with Will Reichel by his side, followed by his beneficiary team. Kara, their kids, family and friends greeted every paddler with open arms and hugs.

Another successful paddle! Thank you to everyone involved that helped us show Tim and Kara their communities love and support!


Painted Cave - The Friendship Paddle 2010




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