Alisa Wu leans back in the 36-foot sailboat as it leaves Naples Bay for the Gulf of Mexico, not something she customarily does on a beautiful Friday afternoon.
For two hours, the 72-year-old – diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year – can be lost in happier thoughts. The sun and the gentle breeze eases the preoccupations of treatment out of her mind.
Her quieter half, Oscar, her husband of 48 years, is equally at peace sitting next to her.
Offering cancer patients and caregivers a reprieve is the mission of Sailing Heals.
The Boston-based nonprofit organization teamed up with Naples Sailing and Yacht Club to provide therapeutic sailing excursions for cancer patients and their caregivers, thanks to a handful of boat owners at the yacht club who volunteer their time and boats.
“Your mind is very peaceful,” Alisa Wu said. “I could relax and see the nature and the beauty, and you are so glad you can forget. I just enjoyed the nature.”