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N.C. woman looking for ‘priceless’ surfboard built by her brother who died in January

The surfboard was homemade and somewhere close to a 6-footer. The design is obvious: White and blue board with stars.
The surfboard was homemade and somewhere close to a 6-footer. The design is obvious: White and...
The surfboard was homemade and somewhere close to a 6-footer. The design is obvious: White and blue board with stars.(Provided by Tiffany Brand)
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 9:04 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WBTV) - Tiffany Brand - though if you grew up in the Wilmington-area you might know her as Tiffany Hartsfield - sent a compelling email full of hope. Maybe, just maybe, someone reading can help.

Tiffany and her brother DJ were raised in Wilmington. They both attended Blair Elementary, Noble Middle School and then Laney High School. (Though, Tiffany says, she graduated from Hoggard.) At 18 years old, Tiffany moved away to pursue a career in ballet. She now lives in San Jose, California, but the majority of her family, including DJ, stayed in Wilmington.

Sadly, DJ died very unexpectedly in January. It was five weeks after the birth of Tiffany’s son. After he died, she said the memories and the things he left behind became treasures.

Like, this surfboard he built himself. The one with the stars that he’s holding. Very distinct. And for Tiffany and her family, priceless.

“This surfboard is something he loved,” Tiffany wrote. “He loved not just surfing, but the beach and ocean in general. That was his happy place. I feel like it’s an important part to his story, of which I want my children to know. He was an awesome uncle to older daughter and would have continued to be with my son, but it’s now up to me to keep his memory alive with my children. Having something tangible to show them that he made... that one day they can have and use if they choose to… is hard to put into words,” Tiffany’s email read.

The surfboard is now missing. Tiffany says it was last seen in a pawn shop on Market Street in Wilmington. She said the story on how it got there is vague.

“This past Saturday marked six months since we lost him,” she wrote. “I was looking through photos and saw the board and felt all the feelings. I thought I’d just put it out there and see what happened. The response so far [she made a FB and Instagram post] has been a bit overwhelming. I’m immensely grateful,” Tifanny’s email read.

Tiffany doesn’t have surfboard specs, but it was homemade so not from one company, and somewhere close to a 6-footer. The design is obvious: White and blue board with stars.

“Honestly, I didn’t think I’d have a chance at finding the surfboard,” Tiffany wrote. “But I’m hopeful now that whether it’s tomorrow, a few months or a few years from now, my brother’s board will make its way back to me. When you’re grieving, hope can be a pretty powerful feeling.”

Well said.

If you’ve seen this board, email me at molly.grantham@wbtv.com. In the subject line just write “DJ’s surfboard.” I’ll forward your email and whatever message or tip directly to Tiffany. She can take it from there.

If you haven’t seen the board but understand how a sister might feel, maybe you can share this post to ask if anyone else has seen it.

-Molly

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