Life Rolls On, a Southern California-based organization founded by surfing brothers Jesse and Josh Billauer and best known for its They Will Surf Again adaptive surfing program, has merged with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
The merger announcement was made on Sept. 25, which would have been Reeve’s 57th birthday.
Said Reeve Foundation President/CEO Peter T. Wilderotter, “Every cause has its moment. The Reeve Foundation and Life Rolls On (LRO) believe that charting a new course, and unifying the SCI (spinal cord injury) community is necessary to create a better future and realize the greatest potential for discoveries, interventions and advancements, and for the best overall outcomes for the paralysis community as a whole.”
Life Rolls On’s Executive Director/CEO Kris Nakamura said, “LRO’s contemporary brand and unique quality of life programs resonate with young adults, while the Reeve Foundation is the leading resource for spinal cord injury advocacy, research and care. Together, we look forward to providing the most comprehensive support for the SCI community through increased access to quality of life programs and resources nationwide.”
Life Rolls On will retain its name and continue to operate its adaptive surfing and other programs while also serving as the West Coast headquarters for the Reeve Foundation.
Jesse Billauer sustained a C6 spinal cord injury in 1996 while surfing in Malibu, Calif. He and brother Josh subsequently created Life Rolls On (liferollson.org) as an advocacy organization for people living with SCI. The brothers remain avid surfers, with Jesse using adaptive surfing equipment.
Actor Christopher Reeve was seriously injured after being thrown from his horse in 1995. He and his wife, Dana, created the Reeve Foundation (ChristopherReeve.org) to advocate for SCI research and treatments. Christopher Reeve died in 2004; Dana Reeve died in 2006 after battling lung cancer.