Surf Dilemma: When a leashless longboard is careening toward the rocks do you save or sit and watch the end of its life?

“They say that Lobsters mate for life. Lane is my Lobster. Please, please, please help me save my lobster.”

One of the more likeable figures in the loosely strung together world called the surf community is the Australian photographer Sean Davey.

I met Sean when I was a junior editor at Surfing Life magazine many orbits ago.

And, then, long before the eyes became jaundiced, the limbs weary, the marrow cold, I would thrill to his submissions, which were noted for their vivid colour and a fanatical attention to detail in his exposure of transparency film that made technicians weep for their beauty.

Later, when I got the reins to the magazine, I made a point of throwing every bone I could at Sean Davey, enjoying his company on myriad trips. This included a wild sortie to the Philippines as we hunted the ghost of Mike Boyum.

During this time, Sean met and fell head-over-heels in love with an American gal who was one of the few women who would ride Pipeline. Pretty soon they married and carved out a life on the North Shore together.

Fast forward twenty seven years and Sean and his wife Lane are dealing with the two-pronged horrors of cancer and America’s cruel healthcare system.

As Sean explains in a message to his friends, fans and surf family,

Friends and family all over this beautiful world of ours, I have some crushing news to share with you all. My wife of 27 years ; Lane has been recently diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic cancer. She is in the fight of her life right now.

Lane had her first infusion of chemotherapy yesterday. The procedure went better than expected but she was awake all night with nausea, which I guess is to be expected.

Though we both have had decent health insurance, Lane’s is about to finish due to the fact that as a professor, she is only employed on a semester by semester basis, and so Lane’s insurance might run out any time now. On top of that is the very likely scenario that Lane will need to go to the American mainland to get specialized care. She would have left on New Year’s day, but her condition has been deemed too serious to fly right now. So hopefully the chemo can shrink the cancer to a point where we can reach the next step in this process. Meanwhile, we are looking at some pretty major expenses coming up.

Some of the specialized care that Lane requires is not covered by the insurance and so it’s looking to be very expensive. Given the need for the specialized care, flights and upcoming operations, we are looking at an initial figure of $90,000. We really need all of your help to make this happen. Those of you who can contribute, please go to Lane’s GoFundMe page to donate, if you are able to. Any amount helps. For those of you who can’t afford to, PLEASE do what you can to spread the word to others. We really, really need ALL of your help right now to help Laneski beat this insidious disease. From the bottom of my heart, please know that we appreciate each and every one of you. Please help save my Laneski!

In the subsequent GoFundMe, Sean goes into a little more detail.

My wife, Lane “LaneSki” Davey is in the fight for her life against a Stage 4 colo-ovarian cancer associated with a 6cm mass that is blocking her intestine, causing a lot of pain and making it hard for her to eat. In the 6 months it took us to get a diagnosis, the cancer spread to her liver and lungs so at this point the only option for treatment is chemotherapy which she will start on Dec. 26, but since it is unlikely to cure her cancer, Lane is researching cutting edge facilities such as City of Hope (Az), the Burzynski clinic (TX), and the Turtle Band Clinic (NV) who specialize in advanced cancers. Costs of treatments at some of these centers run up to as much as 140,000 plus travel costs. We are also looking for a reasonably priced rental close by in Kahuku so Lane’s Mom can come and help out which will free up more time for me to work especially since Lane isn’t able to work at this time.

Lane and I met back in 1995 and were inseparable from the get-go. We married in late 1996 and I moved to Hawaii in 1997, where we’ve remained ever since. We were a great match with Lane being a pro surfer/ clothing designer at the time, while I was photographing for surf magazines all over the world.

The news has been so devastating to Lane who has spent the last 12 years serving as a full-time college lecturer and also acting as a part-time caretaker for her father with dementia while earning her Ph.D. that she finally completed last May. Lane is so dedicated to her students that she will stay up into the wee hours of the night grading resubmissions from students to make sure everyone has a chance to succeed in her class. This past semester, she spent a lot of time curled up in a ball on the floor before she would transition back to her computer to grade papers, answer emails, and prepare her lectures which often proceeded each worsening scan and diagnosis. You may have seen her out surfing with a smile on her face but that was after being up crying all night in pain. I know if anyone can beat this, my wife can.

Lane is a courageous and devout woman of faith who has always followed God’s call despite enduring a lot of opposition and difficult circumstances. I remember her paddling out to second and third reef Pipe when no one had ever seen women go anywhere near that. We would all sit on the beach and gasp as her 115-pound frame feathered on top of 12-foot sets and sometimes we watched her get annihilated by them but somehow she always found her way back to the beach. I remember Lane traveling the pro circuit with a surfboard under one arm and a sample bag under the other which contained her one-of-a-kind women’s surf line that she sold to 50 stores across the U.S. and Japan. Of course, everyone told Lane that women’s surfwear was a ridiculous idea and then they all eventually followed suit anyway, laying the groundwork for the amazing opportunities that women surfers enjoy today. In the 90s, Lane also began writing about the female surfing experience for a range of international magazines that I was shooting for and this eventually led her back to school because she wanted to document local legends in a lasting way. Her doctoral dissertation is one of the most extensive works on he‘enalu (surfing), detailing epic swells at Pipe and Bowls that Lane surfed daily for over thirty years and documented rigorously for about 20 in a blog she wrote for the Honolulu Advertiser and Oceanic Cable. She hopes to continue her research and publish them as books.

The cancer diagnosis has been a shock, to say the least since Lane, just 53, has no family history of cancer, eats healthy, exercises daily, and doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs to the point where she will rarely even accept an Advil. According to statistics, Lane is currently looking at a 2-9 month life expectancy if she doesn’t get help quickly. I can’t conceive of losing my soulmate and the mother of our three beloved dog babies Paumalu, Tazzy, and Kai Boy.

We just celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary just last week. I remember telling Lane way back in the mid 90’s that we would grow old together as a couple and I intend to stand by that pledge.

To be honest, I know Lane feels let down because she gave up a life of material gain to serve as a teacher and community activist for over 20 years, and in her time of need, neither the education system nor the health system has been there for her. Similarly, the surf industry largely refuses to recognize her contributions. So we sincerely ask for your prayers and your support. Any amount, big or small, not only funds Lane’s chances at life but fuels her fight to live because it shows her that people care and appreciate her service.

They say that Lobsters mate for life. Lane is my Lobster. Please, please, please help me save my lobster. 

Jump here if you want to kick the Daveys a shekel or two.

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