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Life Rolls On takes former Yarmouth resident Greg Deveau surfing


Organization touches the lives of hundreds of thousands

YARMOUTH -  He may not live here now, but Greg Deveau still has plenty of friends in Yarmouth. Those friends are still talking about the recently posted video of him surfing.

Deveau, who has cerebral palsy, now lives at the Kings Rehabilitation Centre in Waterville, Nova Scotia.

He had the chance to ride the waves in late August thanks to a joint effort (They Will Surf Again) between non-profits SurfAble and Life Rolls On, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people affected by spinal cord injury.

Founded by world champion quadriplegic surfer Jesse Billauer, Life Rolls On began in 2001 and now touches the lives of hundreds of thousands.

Deveau’s sister Susan says he went surfing with the organization last year for the first time. She wasn’t too sure he’d want to go in again because he fell off and is afraid of the water.

“But he had a good time,” she said.

Deveau was impressed with how safe he felt this time.

“They helped me on the board. When I started to go under, they grabbed me and pulled me right up.

“There was a person behind me that held my back,” Deveau said.

Between 12 and 15 people assisted with his adventure and some of the volunteers had a hand on his board at all times.

Although he did fall into the water briefly again this year, there was no hesitation when asked if he’d like to do it again.

“Yup!” he said.

Before the adventure, the Life Rolls On - They Will Surf Again team teaches participants how to float properly and how to hold their breath in a wave.

Volunteers in various capacities are welcome with the organization. Registration opens about 45 days prior to events in the area.

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