Cancer survivors to participate in ‘Paddle for Life’ fundraiser

The Mana’olana Cancer Survivors (the Pink Paddlers) will take part in the Pacific Cancer Foundation’s annual Paddle for Life voyage Oct. 5 and 6 to demonstrate “there is life after cancer” and to raise funds for PCF’s Patient Navigation Program.

The event includes a 36-mile open ocean journey across the Auau channel from Lahaina to Lanai, spending the night on Lanai and returning the next day.

In June, Kihei Canoe Club trainer, Ellen Federoff started training the Pink Paddlers in a canoe on land.

In July, Pacific Cancer Foundation caregiver support group facilitator, and an approved and trained captain with the Maui Canoe Club, Linda Tesar-Amimoto, took over the Pink Paddlers training.

“It was a unique challenge” said Tesar-Amimoto, “as some of the survivors had only recently begun paddling, following major surgery, and after getting clearance from their physicians to embark on their journey of survival. They are an inspiring group of ladies and can definitely inspire others. They sure have warmed my heart, and I love them all.”

The Pink Paddlers train three days a week on water and take advantage of complementary strength training offered by the Maui Powerhouse Gym.

“Without the partnership between the Pacific Cancer Foundation and Mana’olana, these survivors would never have the opportunity for such an epic voyage,” said Mary Dungans, president of Mana’olana. “And without the support of the community and generous benefactors like the Maui Powerhouse Gym, Ellen Federoff, and Linda Tesar-Amimoto, they would never be in condition to undertake the voyage.”

For more information about participating organizations and the Paddle for Life visit or