My experience was wonderful. It was so relaxing to be out on the sea where I could escape from all my daily stresses and truly relax and heal! I also enjoyed the company of my sail mates and getting to know them. We shared stories of courage, hope and healing. Thank you to Sailing Heals for this day of serenity on the sea and thank you to all the captains and volunteers, a true gift of love!
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.
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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.
The Martin Richard Foundation has teamed up with the nonprofit Sailing Heals to provide boxed meals to the overnight shift of 350 health care workers treating COVID-19 patients at Salem Hospital. The initiative, called Sailing Heals Meals, aims to not only feed health care workers during the pandemic, but also help local nonprofits whose funding has dried up, and restaurants whose business has been decimated by having to close to diners to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
For One Boston Day, the foundation is teaming up with a nonprofit called Sailing Heals. The two groups will provide meals for the 350 frontline healthcare workers on the overnight shift at the North Shore Medical center in Salem — the hospital where Bill was born. “As we dug a little deeper we found that there’s a pretty a significant overnight shift that’s not getting the same attention as the day workers, so we found a need and we’re doing out best to fill it,” Richard said. The Martin Richard Foundation is providing the initial funding for the meals program and hopes other organizations on the North Shore will join in the effort. The first meals will be delivered to the hospital workers at 11 p.m. Wednesday.
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