WBZ local CBS news station features our pirates event!
Dealing with cancer, pain and anxiety tends to take over one's daily focus. Spending the day on the water transports one to a place far from health issues. It's an experience I will look back on when I need to quiet the internal noise of living with cancer.
The air was brisk, the breeze gentle, the boat bobbing up and down at a steady tempo. The creak of wood, the clank of mechanical pulleys, and the dulcet melody of casual conversation filled the air. Sailing Heals, a nonprofit that offers free yachting excursions to cancer patients and their caregivers. Sailing Heals primarily serves people with cancer, but also those with traumatic injuries or other health problems. Typically, they’re referred to the program through their care providers. All guests are called “VIPs,” a label that intentionally avoids the caretaker/patient dynamic that often defines their lives.
Lou Vaccaro has been through a lot the past three years. Three battles, so far, with small-cell cancer. If test results come back as he expects later this week, there will be a fourth in a fourth location. He’s ready for it because he has many things to do and dying isn’t one. Sailing, though, has been added to his already-long list. A cold, blustery morning transformed into a warm, sun-swept early September afternoon. “It seemed like the whole world calmed down,” Vaccaro said. He took every chance he could to help a deckhand move the sails. He loved the peacefulness — “It was a beautiful, soothing experience,” he said
The Eastport Yacht Club (EYC) in Annapolis has been partnering with Sailing Heals for over six years to provide uplifting experiences for cancer patients and caregivers in the Anne Arundel County region. In the past year, EYC and Sailing Heals have worked closely with Wellness House of Annapolis to triple the number of guests served. […]
Sailing Heals, a national group that works with yacht clubs to offer sailing experiences for patients living with cancer and their caregivers, returned to Camden for its second year. Last August was the first time the Camden Yacht Club hosted Sailing Heals. Before the event ended yacht club members were inviting the organization’s executive director, […]
June 1, 1934 – June 19, 2019
Motto: “Just keep swimming.”
John McGuinn was born in West Hartford Connecticut, graduated from the Kingswood-Oxford School and Holy Cross College in Worcester Massachusetts. After attending Georgetown University Law Center he practiced employment relations law in Washington D.C. for forty years.
John met Rosanne Kling on a blind date for the Fourth of July celebrations in 1962. After fireworks and dinner they decided to get married that same night! Married in 1963, they had four children: Greg McGuinn of Alexandria VA, Jenifer Demko of West Newton MA, Jeremy McGuinn of Cary NC, and Laura McCarthy of North Reading, MA. They had six grandchildren. After his retirement, John and Rosanne moved from Washington to Nantucket in 1998 where they enjoyed island life and traveling. John’s beloved wife Rosanne died on New Year’s Eve in 2015 after living with breast cancer since 2000 and battling a bout of esphogeal cancer. John and Roseanne both greatly enjoyed their healing sails in Nantucket Harbor, courtesy of Sailing Heals.
John and Rosanne were Eucharistic ministers at Saint Mary Church and members of the Wharf Rat club on Nantucket. John was also a member of the Rotary Club of Nantucket.
Sailing Heals gratefully thanks John’s daughter Laura McCarthy and her husband Kevin for their generous donation in John and Roseanne’s memory, and also for their dedicated volunteerism, offering video services through their company Hot Pineapple Productions, over many years.
Advocates & Alliances