MALIBU—On Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9, REEF presented the 9th Annual Malibu Invitational surf contest at the Historic First Point Malibu. The invitational was in honor of 22-year-old Lyon Herron, who has been battling Gardner’s Syndrome for 18 years, The Malibu Times reported.

Lyon Herron has been battling with cancer since he was four.
Lyon Herron has been battling with cancer since he was four.

Herron was diagnosed when he was four years old. This syndrome is a rare form of cancer that causes tumors to form in different organs of the body. He has endured more than 20 surgeries “with an unwavering smile on his face”, according to the Malibu Invitational website. The disease has no cure. He has tried both conventional western medicine in America and in Europe, and also spiritual and holistic practices in Brazil. The treatment in Europe bought him four years in remission.

The Malibu Invitational is a Shortboard Pro & Legend’s Invitational Surf Contest. The surf competition invites surfers of different ages and levels to surf the same waves and raise money for people in need. The purpose of the event, according to the Malibu Invitational website, is to “blend generations of surfers to save and enrich lives.”

The Malibu Invitational worked alongside THERAsurf, a non-profit organization dedicated to children with special needs. Their acronym stands for Therapy Healing Equality Respect Advocacy. The organization consists of a group of parents, professionals and other members of the surf community that believe that the ocean has a power to heal the human body.  Their goal is to provide kids with the opportunity to benefit from the healing powers of the ocean.

Other sponsors included Val Surf, Duke’s Malibu, Freedom Artists, Vans Off the Wall, Audi and Sicky Eyewear, among many others.