Local professional surfers Hans Hagen from Laguna Beach and Brad Ettinger from Huntington Beach spent time getting to know patients in the playroom at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach on Wednesday, June 12.
The Mauli Ola Foundation brought professional surfers Brad Ettinger, Hans Hagen, Eli Olson and Koa Rothman, as well as mixed-martial arts fighter Brian “T-City” Ortega to Miller Children’s for a special visit and art workshop. With gifts in tow, the group of athletes spent time in several playrooms getting patients excited for summer, while distracting them from hospitalization.
Each patient received autographed posters and a hat designed by professional surfer Kalani Robb. The hats were created specifically for hospitalized children to decorate in their own style representing their unique personalities. In the Miller West playroom, Hagen and Ettinger helped patients customize their hats during the art workshop.
Miller Children’s was the first stop in Southern California on the Mauli Ola Foundation’s 2013 Aloha Tour, which was created to cheer up patients in children’s hospitals across the nation who are too sick to make it to the beach.
“The joy we get from sharing Aloha with the patients at Miller’s Children’s and all the children’s hospitals we visit around the nation each year is immeasurable, which is why our tour is themed the Aloha Tour,” says Bobby Serna, surf experience director of the Mauli Ola Foundation. “At the end of the day, we’re on this Earth to support one another with Aloha.”
The Mauli Ola Foundation began as a group of surfers who banded together to introduce surfing as a natural treatment to people with cystic fibrosis and later expanded its reach with hospital visits and other activities that touch the lives of kids with cancer and other health challenges. Several patients from the Cystic Fibrosis Program at Miller Children’s are signed up to participate in the Foundation’s surf-experience day in Santa Monica later this summer.
“Hospitalization for a child is hard at any time of year, especially during the summer,” says Rita Goshert, child life manager at Miller Children’s. “Special visits like the one from the Mauli Ola Foundation lift our patient’s spirits and can really make a difference, even if just for that moment, in the lives of our patients and their families.”
Source: Miller Children’s