SHE DID IT... Abby surfed a wave!!! 🌊
Yesterday was unbelievable, in the most incredible way.
Throught the past 8 years, we have been told a lot of things that Abby would probably never do. Our day with Surfers Healing was all about everything that she CAN do.
"WHAT IF RIDING THE WAVES MEANT CHANGING THE WORLD?
Though we serve thousands, that mission exists because of one child. Israel and Danielle Paskowitz founded Surfers Healing because of their son, Isaiah. Isaiah has autism, and when he struggled with meltdowns and sensory overload, riding the waves with his father calmed him like nothing else.
We paddle out together on tandem boards to catch the waves that come our way. That's what we do; that's what we love."
We drove a few hours over to Belmar Beach in New Jersey where the camp was being held and got Abby all checked in for her big day! We were surrounded by the kindest staff, volunteers, and vendors as we walked the beach and watched everyone surf.
After a little while of watching, it was Abby's turn to get ready. We gave her an extra layer over her bathing suit to keep her a little warmer in the water. She got on her life jacket nice and tight before she headed to the ocean with her sweet new friends!
Getting past the waves breaking point was the hardest part for her. Having the waves crash on her and knock her around was scary. It was even hard for us to watch.. (we didn't include those harder moments in the video).
With lots of help from the amazing surfers and volunteers, they made it through to the calm waters just beyond the waves. They spent a little bit of time there, relaxing, before her big moment came.
And then it happened, it was Abby's time to catch her wave.
We were in absolute awe watch her standing tall on the board with Levi, riding through the wave the whole way to the shore. It was a breath-taking moment and she came off of her wave feeling empowered and so proud of herself.
She was greeted at the end of her ride with a trophy that read "I Caught A Wave At The Autism Beach Bash 2022"! She said she wanted to put it on the shelf in our living room for everyone to see.
Overall, the day was just unforgettable. We were so thrilled to meet Isaiah and his parents, Izzy and Danielle who started this incredible camp in 1996 and made it possible for us to attend this weekend on such short notice. We are beyond gratful for Levi who rode the wave with Abby and made her feel so comfortable and safe with such a new adventure and experience. We can not say enough good things about our entire day and we can't wait to be back next year for another perfect day. 🌊🏄🏻♀️☀️