For the inspirational surfer Jesse Billauer, life rolls on, even after the devastation of being scammed by his personal care giver in May/June of 2007. Working for Billauer for months, Rodford Sahagun Uy preyed on his ward by stealing checks from his check book. “I had a few so I didn’t notice,” said Billauer. “He’d forge my signature and pay himself pretty good.”
“This guy’s lucky he’s not showing his face, someone would make it look not so pretty.”
The losses total $17, 000. Jesse realized what was going on in late July 2007, when he checked his online banking account. But, by then Uy had split. Police are still pursuing the fugitive and Jesse is adamant about recovering his losses. Meanwhile, he’s working with the bank to reverse the charges and concentrating on what makes him happiest: surfing. Uy’s girlfriend has been apprehended for using her account to cash the fraudulent checks. Uy, however, remains on the run.
Though continually active in surfing and charity work, Jesse’s paralyzing spinal cord injury requires him to have extra help in the house. He found Uy after scanning advertisements and screening people, to find somebody that he could connect with. Cecile Billauer Gifford, Jesse’s mom, had even approved of Uy, impressed by his nursing aspirations. Now Jesse says: “this guy’s lucky he’s not showing his face, someone would make it look not so pretty.”
To Jesse, the important thing is that he pursues his work in charity and follows his passion for surfing. “Traveling around the country, doing motivational speaking, and surfing…to me, that’s my life, I love it.”