18 Months to Live, Surf, Love and Die

by Owen James Burke


“In this fleeting moment what extravagant respite as booming surf speaks its mystical passage across the undreamed depths.” – Jim Wern. Photo: Beach Grit.

Surfer, marine and spine cancer patient Michael Kocher has 18 to 30 months to live, give or take about 6 months on either end. He has the opportunity to undergo a surgery after which he’s been told he has an 80% chance of partial paralysis below the waist. He’s decided against the surgery, and here’s why:

One to three years to do everything I ever wanted to do in life… Most people don’t understand the idea of living three years to the fullest being better than living another thirty in a chair.

… I have big plans for the time I have left. I’ve done more in 31 years than most people will do their entire lives. I’ve been to 37 countries, 44 states, most of the Canadian provinces and Mexican States. I’ve had dolphins play with my feet while the sun sets huge over beautiful Pacific lines…

There’s more left to be done though, more to change, more to live, more to love, more to fuck, and more to ride.

As for the death bit, Kocher has his chin up, quoting the immortal Peter Pan: “To die will be such a grand adventure”.

Read more about Kocher and his float plan for the rest of his days at Beach Grit. -OJB

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