A surf tribe rallies for Ráine: ‘When your baby is diagnosed with cancer, you need extra family’

Ráine Huszar’s surfing days are ahead of her. For now, she’s letting others go out and beat the waves that roll through Pleasure Point next Saturday in her honor.

Ráine has been busy taking on other challengers over the past year – since the day she came into this world last July. Ráine was born in Dominican Hospital with an extremely rare cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). With less than 50 documented cases worldwide, RMS forms in soft tissue, in Ráine’s case, a tumor that presented itself at birth in her right leg.

Before her first birthday, she underwent 14 rounds of chemotherapy, each lasting three weeks, and was hospitalized 16 times.

In late June, she underwent 17-hour surgery to remove a 6-inch tumor from her leg. The procedure involved extracting part of her femur and surrounding muscle and replacing it with donor bone and tissue.

So when one of the senior surfers taking part in Saturday’s Sharks Cove Classic to take advantage of Ráine’s ongoing medical treatment complains of physical aches and pains, all they need to do is think about what the competition’s young beneficiary will be doing in her short life. has experienced.

The happy Huszar family.

(Courtesy of the Hussars)

“People say we are strong parents,” says Ráine’s mother, Kirsten Huszar. “But I honestly don’t feel that way. We love each other and we love our baby, and we just try to be the best parents for her regardless of the illness.”

Kirsten and Steve Huszar have kept detailed chronicles of Ráine’s journey on their Facebook and Instagram pages, in which she painstakingly documented her story as she endured treatments and hospital visits, in addition to the times when she could just be a baby, play, cuddle and sleep at home. .

The most recent messages are hopeful. After the surgery, Ráine’s appetite returns and her dose of painkillers can be reduced.

“I started sharing so I could catalog her story for myself,” Kirsten says of her decision to keep the pages. “People started following and wanted more information. I shared updates through the fundraiser we had on Facebook, but I didn’t want people to feel like they needed to donate to keep up to date with what was going on with Ráine. Then I created her page.

“Sharing her story, our story, has brought a lot of awareness to childhood cancer. When your baby gets cancer, you need a little extra family.”

Social media sharing has made that possible, and so has the section of the Santa Cruz surf community that has embraced the family’s plight by donating all proceeds from the Sharks Cove Surf Classic as a fundraiser for Ráine.

The competition, which started 21 years ago, has not been held since 2016.

Two of the co-organisers, Drs. Jill and Corey Parello are pediatricians. They helped establish the tradition of the competition for the benefit of children fighting cancer six years ago. That contest raised more than $12,000 for Dr. Jill Parello’s patient Reba, a young child battling neuroblastoma.

Raine Huszar, the trooper that she is.

(Courtesy of the Huszar family)

“Some of us have been surfing sharks for 15, 20 years. It puts us all in the water at once. It’s a reunion of Sharks Cove folks,” said contest co-host Lance Lubarsky.

All entrance fees, merchandise purchases and donations go directly to the Huszar family. While the one-day event itself retains its traditional, fun, playful format – each entrant brings a craft that will be ridden at random by others, and past competitions have featured a random wildcard craft, such as an actual front door – it has a revamped, high – bet target.

Organizers hope Ráine can attend on race day, depending on how she’s feeling and if it’s safe for her to be out in public.

Arriving at this optimistic spot in Ráine’s cancer recovery, however, marks just the beginning of another complicated journey for the family: navigating all the medical bills and other associated expenses.

“For families to pay for gas and hotels, it’s really starting to add up,” Lubarsky said.

Glen De Witt of Rainbow Fins has handcrafted all of this year’s competition trophies from resin. In addition to the usual prizes, surprise prizes will be awarded and a Kirk McGinty L41 longboard will be raffled off.

For the Huszars, it will be a great outlet for that family expansion they so desperately needed.

“We feel so supported and loved,” Kirsten said.

In 2016, Erin Alexander briefly surfed the door. Before it flooded and started to sink.

IF YOU GO

Sharks Cove Surf Classic

When: Saturday 17 July

Where: Sharks Cove at the end of 41st Avenue, Pleasure Point, just south of the Hook

What: Fundraising for Ráine Huszar. Participants check in at 7am; match starts promptly at 8am. Merchandise will be available for purchase, but no food/drink. Raffle tickets will be on sale during the event for $1 each. Bulk sales of $50 or more are available in advance by contacting sharkscoveclassic@gmail.com. All proceeds will be donated to the Huszar family.

Ways to Support: Donate to the Huszar Family through Sharks Cove Classic… Donate to the Huszar Family through their Facebook Fundraising Page… Donations can be made through Eventbrite through July 17 by going to www.sharkscoveclassic2021.eventbrite .com or email sharkscoveclassic@ gmail.com to make other arrangements.

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