Life Rolls On - Jesse Billauer

Every year I shoot images for a few non profits. This week, I was working again with the amazing people at Life Rolls On. Life Rolls On was founded by Jessie Billauer. In 1996, on the verge of becoming a professional surfer, Jesse Billauer suffered a spinal cord injury while surfing. While physically rendered a quadriplegic, Jesse’s spirit was not broken, and the phrase “Life Rolls On” was born. A few years later, the love of the ocean was too much for Jesse to bear. With the help of friends and professional surfer Rob Machado, Jesse found himself back in the ocean, surfing again! Within just a few years these efforts would be showcased in the motion picture, Step Into Liquid (and later Highwater in 2009)

Life Rolls On became the official charity of the US Open of Surfing in 2002, which culminates each year with a disabled surfing exhibition in front of 100,000+ spectators. Since 2002, LRO has delivered a powerful message to over 600,000 people, that life does indeed, Roll On!

Over the years, these efforts have been recognized by Good Morning America, Dateline NBC, TLC’s While You Were Out, Nonprofit Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Orange County Register, San Diego Union Tribune, Ability Magazine, Surfer Magazine, Surfing Magazine, Transworld Surf, Riverside Press, E! Entertainment, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, FUEL TV, MTV and dozens more.

Life Rolls On's They Will Surf Again program has made a profound impact on the lives of thousands of people with disabilities, along with the volunteers who help make dreams possible.

Life Rolls On

I made the mecca to Hollywood's Kodak Theater on Sunday for a gala charity event to help raise funds for the Life Rolls On Foundation. If you are unaware of Jesse Billauer's story, visist the foundations website at for some inspiration and a reality check. The foundation is raising funds for spinal cord research and to better those disadvantaged by unfortunate accidents. It was great to see not only a few Hollywood stars like Jenna Fischer (The Office), Dominic Purcell (Prison Break) and Nikki Hilton show up to give support, but the highlight for the crowd was the opportunity to visit with 9 - time world champion Kelly Slater, along with Rob Machado and Brandon Boyd of Incubus. A special thanks to Josh and Jessie Billauer for letting me be a part of the Life Rolls On family.

If you are an Incubus fan, check out Bradon Boyd's latest art book, From The Murks of the Sultry Abyss. I worked on this project with the very talented Mark Murphy to record Brandon's artwork for the book.