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Lyon Forever

After decades fighting cancer, the surf world says goodbye to Lyon Herron. 

elsewhere // Dec 18, 2023
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

After decades valiantly fighting cancer, it is with tremendous sadness that Stab has learned our friend Lyon Herron finally left this world this morning, leaving behind an incredible legacy and a lasting impression on the the Los Angeles surf community of which he was such a huge part, and on the countless surfers around the world that he touched over the years either in person or online through his story. 

Lyon’s connection to his beloved Los Angeles landscapes—long, groomed point breaks of Malibu and points north, the rugged mountains and open desert inland—was apparent in all of the various ways his multitudionous talents allowed him to engage with them, as a stylish, broadly gifted surfer, or pushing his limits on dirtbikes in the mountains to the east, and especially as a gifted, creative photographer, which was how he first came into Stab’s orbit a decade ago. 

When Lyon was 7, he was diagnosed with an extremely rare disease called Gardner Syndrome, which comes with it an increased chance of developing cancer, as well as something called Desmoid Tumors. 

After being diagnosed with Stage-3 colon cancer, Lyon commenced a heroic journey exploring alternative stem cell and immunotherapies, countless invasive and non-invasive surgeries to remove tumors. 

While in the constant throes of his cancer battle, Lyon remained incredibly kind, ambitious, generous, and driven, working in fashion and surf as a designer and photographer, inspiring countless surfers, artists, skateboarders along the way. 

Lyon’s impact was evidenced in the thousands of comments left on his post a week ago letting his community know that he was ready to let go, and after two decades bravely fighting cancer he was facing this next step with the same unbroken spirit: 

“So I’ve made the decision to move palliative care to hospice care, the suffering and pain has just gotten past the point of being able to handle. For those of you that know me, know that I have a very unique connection with death. I’ve been so close to it so many times and have literally been told that I wasn’t going to make it through the night more times that I can count. I’m so comfortable with the end of this life’s journey that I honestly am welcoming the end with open arms. I don’t want anyone to mourn me when I pass, but to celebrate the life that I lived. I am so blessed and so grateful for the life that I’ve had, I’ve been living on borrowed time for a very long time now and now it’s my souls time to move on. I’m doing it the natural way so who knows how long it will take but I want to thank each and everyone one of you for keeping me going through the toughest of times. Like I said, I am blessed. I love you all from the bottom of my heart and will always be here as a guardian angel to my loved ones. It’s not goodbye, it’s just see you soon. So excited to finally get to see my uncles who have passed before me. Adios friends ✌🏼”

“Seeing all the love for you in this post is incredible,” wrote Kelly Slater. “Wishing you completion and that your life is fulfilled with the connections and experiences you’ve had. To see your courage in the face of this is awe inspiring and gives us all reason to appreciate this time we have on the planet. Thank you for sharing the journey with us.”

Lyon spent the last few days on this earth being showered in love from his community, as tags popped up all over Malibu and LA: “Lyon Forever.” 

“Sending you so much love,” wrote fellow Malibu local and longtime close friend Kassia Meador. “You who inspires people to live fully, never take a moment for granted and meet every moment and situation with fierce courage, radical vulnerability and powerful grace. So grateful to have shared some sweet waves and laughter with you. Sending so much love and prayer to you and your family and the beautiful community you continue to inspire forever more.”

“Thank you Lyon for letting us get to know you a little and showing us true Bravery,” wrote matriarch Alex Florence. “My heart is so sad reading this.. I don’t have the right words to express.. just want you to know our family is truly grateful to have witnessed such courage and love. A Hui Hou.”

Rest in Power, brother. You won’t be forgotten.

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