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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, […]
Dr. Charles Kite born in Montreal, Canada (1949) had a life long love of the water that began on Saratoga Lake in NY, when his father took him sailing in his 16' Rebel. Later he would further his love through his parent's summer homes on the shore of Chesapeake Bay and then Chatham, MA, where he sailed everything from a Sunfish to a 33' Swiftsure (named of the America's Cup winner in 1962). He was always at peace when sailing, despite what the conditions may have been. His love of sailing has been passed on to his children and grandchildren. Sailing heals is a great organization that provides this peaceful enjoyment to people go through tumultuous times.
August 15, 1949 - January 4, 2019More
Advocates & Alliances