Aloha. I am Buster Kawasaki. I have been participating in AccesSurf’s Events for 2 years now – including the Swim Clinics, Wounded Warrior Day at the Beach, and my favorite … Day at the Beach!
I have Spinocerebellar Ataxia, Type 6. When I was diagnosed in 2008, knowing this condition is progressive, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the ocean like I have been before this onset condition. I used to paddle outrigger canoe, but started to get afraid of actually going in the water. So I really couldn’t enjoy the full benefits of paddling because you often have to have to jump out of the canoe to do changes.
Fast forward 6 years, I heard about AccesSurf through some Challenged Athlete friends. They told me how AccesSurf helps people with physical disabilities to get back into the water. I thought to myself, “This is what I need!”. So I attended and participated in a “Day at the Beach” event, held on the 1st Saturday of every month. I was Stoked AND Hooked! With the assistance of the awesome volunteers and closely watched by the water safety team I was prone surfing! With the addition of the adaptive swim clinics I am now comfortable and more confident to jump on my surfboard, and catch some amazing waves! I love participating and I never miss an AccesSurf event. It is more than surfing it is being part of the AccesSurf ‘Ohana that has changed my life.
Through AccesSurf I have found my new passion. They definitely made an “Ocean of Possibilities” for me. When I am out there on my board and riding the waves there is NO such thing as Spinocerebellar Ataxia! NO crutches, NO wheelchair … it is FREEDOM!! This organization has not only given me back the confidence in getting in the water, they also gave me a more positive outlook on life itself. Just hearing the word “AccesSurf” makes me smile and face my days with positivity. I really look forward to their events. I will be surfing for as long as I live and I hope AccesSurf will be there, to help give others a chance to feel the Stoke that I feel!!
As I tell others, ‘I feel like a big kid who just got the biggest rainbow shaved ice with vanilla ice cream in it!’ Smiles For miles! I am 53 and loving it! Thanks to AccesSurf for the opportunity and community they provide.”