History of the event
Paddle Against Cancer, founded in 2011 by stage-4 kidney cancer survivor Gene Evans, is an annual paddleboard event and poolside celebration benefiting Moffitt Cancer Center.
Now in its seventh year, the annual event – held each Memorial Day weekend at the Club at Treasure Island – has raised $215,000 for research in the fight against cancer.
Register for Paddle Against Cancer today to join our fight against cancer.
Gene Evans, founder of Paddle Against Cancer, first tried paddleboarding seven years ago while on vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. He was immediately hooked and continued the sport when he returned to his Treasure Island home.
In May 2009, after experiencing some unusual discomfort in his back, Gene went to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with stage-four kidney cancer. Over the course of 18 months, Gene underwent multiple surgeries, treatments and physical therapy, and now has had four years of clear scans.
Gene credits his love of paddleboarding with helping him detect the cancer, so starting a fundraiser involving stand-up paddleboarding was a natural fit.
Today, Gene still regularly paddles, going five to 14 miles at a time. Doctors have cited his positive attitude and active lifestyle as major factors in his recovery.
With a desire to help others and to give back to Moffitt Cancer Center, Gene founded Paddle Against Cancer in 2011. The annual paddleboard event and poolside celebration at the Club at Treasure Island has raised $215,000 for Moffitt Cancer Center to help aid in the fight against cancer.