Courtesy of Hot Pineapple Productions.
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, […]
Irish was also a fighter! Always cheerful and optimistic, she bravely battled Multiple Myeloma for 16 years (!) and was expertly cared for by many medical professionals and caring nursing assistants over many years – all of whom she drew into her family circle.
Irish and her care team were also the original “VIP patient/caregivers” who inspired the idea of Sailing Heals. Mom loved the mission of Sailing Heals so much. She followed most of our sails virtually and never tired of hearing about the stories or sharing photos with her friends in Nebraska. We were delighted mom was able to attend a few sails in person, where she enjoyed meeting many other brave cancer fighters and loving caregivers.
May you rest in peace and pain-free, with your heavenly family, beautiful lady!
June 1, 1934 – July 31, 2020More
Advocates & Alliances