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Living (and Still Surfing) with Breast Cancer



In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we asked Girls4Sport team rider Robin (Zeuf) Janiszeufski Hesson to share her insights on living with breast cancer. The 51-year-old surfer first battled breast cancer at the age of 33, then again at 41. The cancer returned three years ago, and though Zeuf now lives with metastatic cancer, she still lives to surf.  Girls4Sport is grateful to have Zeuf as the walking, talking, girl next door and girl in the curl, who is truly an inspiration for all of us. Zeuf, you rock.


Robin (Zeuf) Janiszeufski Hesson

Girls4Sport team rider Robin (Zeuf) Janiszeufski Hesson


I am a breast cancer survivor. I have had breast cancer since 1993. I now have what is called metastatic cancer. I live with my treatment on a daily basis. My focus (just “focus” in general is sometimes a challenge!) is on the every day, in increments of what is possible. Certain days I have great energy, other days I am exhausted.

What creates a good place to live from is using complimentary therapies along with my cancer treatment. Yoga, acupuncture, and Trager massage are all a part of what help me on a daily basis. My cancer treatment is made much easier to bear by these supportive modalities. As a retired critical care nurse, I am well aware of the demands illness makes one’s life… overwhelming can be an understatement.

What also helps is a simple conditioning routine created by a dear friend of mine–Rocky Snyder–that optimizes where I can operate from physically. He understands that I have some limitations, and we work around those.

When I can move more easily, I can do more, and that allows me great joy because then I have the ability to do what I love most of all: surf!

Being able to surf when I can, for as long as I can, is most important to me and makes me most happy. I try to operate from this internal happiness.  My cancer diagnosis is NOT what defines me, but it helps to highlight what is important for me. After all, “life” is a terminal condition!

With that in mind, life, and how I live it, determines my day-to-day happiness. It’s easy to say, but much harder to do. Keeping it simple and breaking it down to do-able bits: this is how I must do it.  It’s become my daily mantra. Is it easy? No, absolutely not, but I know of no other way to do my life, and in fact, won’t do it any other way than what celebrates the opportunities I have been given.

Whenever Kim has asked me to write for her clothing company, Girls4Sport, I consider it an honor. Thank you Kim and Girls4Sport!

Girls4Sport’s mission is to inspire girls of all ages to lead confident, active lives. Zeuf does this in a very real way.  She has always been an inspiration to everyone around her, has always looked for the positive in every situation, and inspires others to do the same.  To read more about Zeuf, click here.



  1. […] Girls4Sport Blog: Living (and Still Surfing) with Breast Cancer […]

  2. Hi Robin,

    Thank you for your inspiring article. I just finished my article for Surfsisters in South Africa about surfing on chemo, when I found your post. I think its important to raise awareness for this very common disease especially amongst the young sporty healthy ones. Sending you warm greetings from around the globe. Stay in touch. x Michaela

  3. Hannah Hicks says:

    Hi Robin.

    My name is Hannah Hicks and I am currently writing weekly article for FOAM magazine online. And was hoping to feature you in an upcoming post about “girls changing the world.” It would be a short bio about you , what you do, your surfing,why you’re so inspiring, and your life with breast cancer. Especially since its Breast cancer awareness month! It would include photos and any website links you want to share. Here are some of my past articles if you wanna check them out. Email me at if you’re interested and I can send over some questions. Thanks!!

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