Van Beek’s Flip for Emerson GoPro Weekend to Help Fight Child’s Leukemia

“Peg leg Pete” McAfee is working to help raise funds for the mounting medical costs of young Emerson Meredith’s fight against leukemia.

Having a daughter the same age as the little girl for whom the Van Beek’s Flip For Emerson GoPro Weekend is for, what about to read is almost too difficult to imagine.

The Watercraft Journal was lucky enough to talk with freerider Pete McAfee who was willing to reveal the very touching story behind this honorable and worthwhile event happening this July 11th through the 13th at Van Beek’s Landing, Hanford, CA.

Pete explained: “This little angel is Emerson Meredith. Her father Josh and I were good buds growing up and roommates for about three years after high school. Last year, on June 17, Josh’s wife, Samantha took Emerson to the pediatrician because she had bruises that wouldn’t go away, a 101 fever that kept popping up every few days, a stomach ache and she was looking pale and tired.

“They ran some blood work and an hour later they got the call that made their world stop turning, “I need you to come back to the office. She has leukemia.” As you could imagine, they couldn’t even comprehend those two sentences. Twelve hours later they where in Fort Worth, TX meeting with an oncologist. It was midnight. They started blood transfusions immediately because 85% of her blood cells were blasts (cancer). The next day Emerson went into surgery to have her portacath put in and chemo started immediately after. Their new normal had begun.

“It has been one year since that day. One year of procedures, illness, lumbar punctures, holding down their baby while poison is pumped into her. One year of being more blessed and more grateful than ever before! One year of love and support from friends, family and total strangers!”

Understandably, the Meredith’s are facing some daunting challenges, one being surmounting medical costs. Because of this, Pete went to work seeing how he could help:

“I was talking to my buddy Daniel Van Beek about [Emerson], and he agreed to make his event a benefit to raise money for her. It’s taking place in Hanford, CA, July 11-13. It’s gonna have lots of riders hitting v-wakes. The event will be held on riverfront, private property with free camping. We’re trying to get a band to come out and play. Oh, and there will be a huge smoker BBQ pit.

“We are trying to get sponsors to donate a dollar per backflip (up to a certain amount) to raise money for her.

“We’re also putting together a Pro and Amateur prize package for the best trick (shirts, hats, gift cards). We will also be selling t-shirts for $20 to raise money for Emerson.

“The treatment continues, but [the Merediths] are celebrating how far they have come. They are thankful for their strong willed, intelligent and beautiful Emerson!”

The Meredith family thanks would like to thank everyone for their love and support! They ask that you look at the blessings in your life and appreciate them. Life can change in an instant.”

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.


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