Photo: Ryan Greig, Georgia Greig, Jenni Greig and Joy Davis.

Despite not having access to the ocean, oncology nurses Joy Davis and Jenni Greig are supporting not-for-profit SurFebruary by stand-up paddle boarding in the local waterways every day of February to raise money for cancer research.

Alongside the pair are Jenni’s children Georgia and Ryan Greig to round out the Yass No Waves No Worries team.

Australian charity SurFebruary aims to inspire Australians to support Cancer Research at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse by ‘Catching a Wave a Day’ in February. SurFebruary is donating 100% of proceeds to the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

SurFebruary have pledged a record goal of $1 million during its 5th year encouraging all individuals, groups and communities across Australia to “do good while feeling good” by catching a wave or jumping in the water every day throughout February and raising vital funds for cancer research at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

The not-for-profit’s 2022 goal of raising $1 million for cancer research will more than double last year’s achievement, with money raised directly supporting vital research into the benefits of supportive care, integrative oncology and new therapeutics and treatments for cancer patients.

In 2021 the SurFebruary Cancer Research Fund, provided seed funding for five new projects across various cancer types.

Seed funding for research innovation helps develop research projects within Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and encourages new collaborations between different clinical groups across Australia and the world, helping to provide researchers with the pilot data needed to be able to leverage further funding.

Last year No Waves No Worries raised $4,315 and have set their own goal of reaching $5,000 this February.

It all began when Jenni had an overnight stay at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in 2020 and after following them on social media she discovered SurFebruary. Jenni said she originally thought it was a pity she couldn’t participate with no surf in Yass but she started to think outside of the box.

What began as a local ‘give back’ initiative by Co-Founder and Cancer Survivor, Jenna-Lea Clark and her husband Arron has expanded into being a truly national event with over 1,000 participants to date and more than $600,000 raised for not-for-profit cancer hospital Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

“You don’t need to be living near a beach to participate in SurFebruary,” Jenni said.

“The staff [at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse] are amazing so if we can give back then that’s all we want,” Jenni said. “Our little bit of money can go towards the research, it doesn’t have to be much but every little cent helps.”

You can donate to the cause either through No Waves No Worries Facebook and Instagram pages or directly through the SurFebruary website.

Georgia said the group are also planning a cake stall on February 19 and a major raffle set to be drawn at the end of February.

The raffle has a range of prizes from local businesses in Yass and surrounds such as a full set of tyres donated by Tyrepower Belconnen, a load of firewood from Robinsons Yass, and a large bed quilt.

Some other businesses participating are Yass Camping and Outdoor, Elders, Woolworths, IGA, Yass Signs, Yass Golf Club, Yass Signs and KHub.

Jenni said the group found last year that the street stall and the raffle raised the most money.

“Anyone who wants to sign up go for it,” Jenni said. “A bit of country competition wouldn’t hurt.”

“We see enough of cancer every day, enough is enough.”

“The more money we raise, the more money Chris O’Brien is going to get,” Jenni said. “If people can get on board, go on the No Waves No Worries website, Facebook page or our Instagram and just donate.”

The team said they were getting better at paddle boarding. “Start of last year it was a bit of a stand-up fall down straight away situation, but we can actually go for a decent paddle now,” Jenni said.

“It’s a lot of fun and myself and Joy kept saying it’s not just a city thing,” she said. “We know how to have a bit of fun out here.”

“I think we kind of surprised some of the city people about what we were actually doing and what we had done.”

No Waves No Worries would like to thank Atherfield Medical Service, KHub and Yass Golf Club plus special thanks to Yass Signs for making the posters and brochures up as well.

By Brianna O’Rourke