“I surfed some big waves!” first grader Albee Granillo exclaims. Granillo, who has Caudal regression syndrome, which means he was born without the lower portion of his spine, got to go surfing for the Junior Seau Foundation Adaptive Surf Clinic for children with disabilities Sunday.
Granillo can’t walk, but that wouldn’t keep him off the board. “I like the big waves,” he tells NBC 7. “They were nice and blue.”
The Junior Seau Foundation partnered with the IRONMAN Foundation and the Challenged Athletes Foundation to help local kids with disabilities hit the waves and, for some of the children, surf for the first time.
“The thing that was fun today is wipeouts!” participant Hunter Pochop exclaims.
His friend Kumaka Jensen agrees.
“I had a very good wipeout,” Jensen recalls. “The wave was coming and I was paddling towards the seashore and then it just took me out when I was in the barrel and then it rolled me under the water and I touched the bottom of the floor with my feet.”
“We have challenges, but we still want to enjoy what we can enjoy,” challenged athlete and volunteer Dani Burt says. “It’s a beautiful thing to hang out with all of these kids and be able to share the ocean with them and the surf and the wipeouts.”