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Quotes & Testimonies - 2015

We would like to hear from you! Please contact us with your personal story about sailing in one of our Sail To Prevail programs and how it has affected your life.

Previous Years
2011
2012
2013
2014


Individual Participants:

My name is Sean. I am 17 years old and have Cerebral Palsy. The time sailing was very exciting. I liked the speed and holding on to the ropes. I’m excited to go again.
Sean (age 17, cerebral palsy)

Our daughter, Kelsey, is not able to share in words how she feels about sailing, but it is so evident on her face! Kelsey brightens up as soon as we mention the word boat! She claps her hands and has a smile on her face almost the entire time we are out! We love the fact that we can turn this into a family activity on weekends. It is so special that Kelsey can share this opportunity with us! Thank you for providing this wonderful opportunity, not only to Kelsey, but to our whole family!
Chyleene (Kelsey’s mother)

Although he'll be 93 in August, he's 30 at heart.… we're happy there's a program such as Sail To Prevail that makes this possible for him, and countless others... My father had a wonderful time... if he had any negative comment at all it was that he was hoping for stronger winds so we'd go faster!
Carol (daughter of 93-year-old Doug)

I found sailing to be so much fun and such an equalizer. Once we were in the boats, we were just like any able-bodied sailors and could do anything they could. That is rare for a quadriplegic like me, and very empowering and builds confidence and ambition to try other activities. I had a great instructor from Sail To Prevail who allowed me to do all that I physically could, and I was surprised to find that meant I could do everything needed to captain a sailboat - even parked the boat myself. I look forward to going out again, now I know I'm not just being taken for a ride but able to actually be the captain. ;-)
Mike (age 56, C6 Quadriplegic)

When we sail, I like it a lot. Thought about things, and I had fun. For the first time, I really enjoyed myself. When I first got there, no one wanted to drive. After being in the war, I’ll do anything, so I said, “I’ll drive!” It felt good to be captain.
Darryl (age 52, TBI survivor)

Sailing takes me away to where I want to be!
Oscar (age 37, blind, autistic)

My name is Cheryl. I had a stroke on Christmas Day 1993. I was 35. As a result, I am a quadriplegic. I am 56 now... I enjoy sailing, because all my worries and stress are forgotten. On the water, I feel my best. Thank you much to everyone involved with Sail To Prevail.
Cheryl (age 56, quadriplegic)

 

Group Participants:

I love the wind in my face, the noises the boat makes as sails are hoisted, and the rocking motion of the boat cutting through the water. 
Douglas (Cornerstone School)

Pam:  “I just love being out on the water.
Kevin:  “I love it and would do it again.”
Geoffrey:  “We go all together - it’s great.”
Mike:  “Fun, spontaneous, gorgeous days, lots of FUN.
Adam:  “Hanging out with friends is always good.”
Audra:  “Friends - and fresh air is great.”
Judy:  “I love to see all the boats on the water.”
Roland:  “Being on the water and relaxing.
Joanne:  “We want more time on the water always.”
(Spurwink Participants)

This sail was my first time ever - and I got to help be the captain! I'm already looking forward to going back next year!!! 
Kimberly (MS Dream Center)

Benefits are many: For disabled sailors like me, it's a great opportunity for people who have sailed when they were able bodied, to continue sailing in an easy to get into boat with assistance…  I have a feeling of being in the real world of sailing. It makes me feel great, and able to do it still, with a realization that all of the knowledge that is in my head is still usable.
John  (MS Dream Center)

My Sail To Prevail experience was wonderful.  I felt so safe the crew was very helpful. But the best part was seeing my MS Dream Center family all having so much fun.
Amanda  (MS Dream Center)

Wednesday Night Racing Series

My name is Joe. I have a spinal cord injury and, as a result, I am paraplegic. I have been sailing competitively as a disabled sailor for 28 years and have never missed a summer. So to say I love it, and it's important, is an understatement. There are no words to fully describe how great this opportunity is to sail with Sail To Prevail. It’s my life, and I love it. 
Joe (age 58, paraplegic)

All I can say is that each summer I eagerly anticipate the summer racing series on Wednesday nights. I love being out on the water competing with terrific sailors, and enjoying the beauty of Newport Harbor. The Sail To Prevail staff is top notch. I am so thankful for the opportunity to participate.
Loretta  (paraplegic)

Confidence is Cool Day Camp

I just wanted to let you know that I was accepted into the Leadership Program at URI.  I can't thank you enough for helping me.  I am so excited to begin this next chapter. 
Rachel  (long-time camp participant, cerebral palsy)

Sail Away from Cancer 

My family had an absolute blast. The doctors that came were very friendly and our sailing instructor was knowledgeable and patient. It was a positive experience, and our family needs as many of those as we can get :)   Our son Gavin (3) is undergoing a two-year chemotherapy protocol at Hasbro, so it was nice to step outside of the hospital and enjoy a day in Newport. We had an amazing, sun-filled day!
Shannon (mother of 3-yr-old Gavin)

 

Veterans - Paralyzed Veterans of America:

I had a great weekend while participating in sailing. This was my first time ever sailing and was a real hoot! Being in control of the boat really boosted my self confidence, which is something that I don't always feel in control of.  Last year, I came down with a very rare disease called Moya moya that caused me to have repeated strokes. Thankfully the VA got a hold of great group of doctors and surgeons and fixed the blood flow problem I was having in my brain. After all this I was able to obtain my driver’s license for the first time, and I drove to Newport with a friend that was also involved in this Sail To Prevail program.  I would like to thank all the staff and my friends George and David. I am so happy that I could participate. I can't wait till next summer!  I'll be there!
Thank you again, 
Paul (Navy Veteran)

John and I want to thank you again for setting up this enjoyable sailing day and delicious dinner. Great to meet new people, as well as reconnect with those we have met before as it seems we have a lot in common. Wish we could get more RI PVA sailors involved. 
Elinor (wife of Army Veteran, John, who has MS and paraplegia)

The pictures are Great!!!!!  Thank you so much!  Maria and I really appreciate all you have done to organize the trip the rest of the veterans and us!  We hope to sail again with you next year.
Raymond (Air Force Veteran with MS and asthma)

Belle Haven Challenge Cup

I was one of the fortunate who were invited to participate in the Sail to Prevail event of 2015.  Meeting Paul Callahan was very inspirational to me as well as sharing the day with the great volunteers from Bank of America and the other persons with disabilities. … the experience was greater than expected…
After the event, there was a ceremony followed by Paul Callahan closing out the day with a few words of encouragement and thanks.  This was the point that everything came together for me.  As a disabled person who functions as independently as I am able to, the event really mirrors my daily struggle.  Working independently, I often struggle and need assistance; but as part of a team, I tend to function much better.  I am able to be productive in society, working side by side with others sometimes needing assistance, while making a positive contribution.  I do wonder if people without disabilities realize the impact they have on those with disabilities.  I think this event serves two purposes.  It can give the disabled person a window to see that he or she is still viable and can do things others can do and it can give individuals and employers the realization that despite a disability that we are still viable…  Continuing secondary education goals, meaningful employment, making a difference in other people’s lives and general recreation - For those of us in the disabled community, these things are sometimes viewed as unattainable more times by attitude than reality.  So I thank Sail To Prevail for giving me the opportunity to do something I didn’t think was possible for me.
I hope to participate again someday but, for now, I hope other persons with disabilities and veterans will get what I got out of the program.
Charles Lewis (Disabled Veteran)

 

Program Directors and Staff:

Even people that do not swim get over their fear of the water and relax. Thanks for the experience!”  -
Pattie (Spurwink RI)

Most people from our group have never sailed before. Everyone absolutely loved it, and many say it is a high point of their summer. The young people you have working there are exceptional in making everyone feel comfortable sailing, whatever their level of ability.
Elinor (Director, MS Dream Center)

All our residents had a phenomenal time sailing. It brought back many happy memories from the past of sailing excursions with their families. And for one, it was his first time ever! (age 82!!).  I hope we can do it again next year!
Judy (Harbor Hill)

Hasbro Children’s Hospital

The Brown Pediatric Residency “Sail Away” program at Hasbro Children's Hospital had an excellent summer! We had quite a few families come sailing, including some first time sailors and some regulars who come year after year. The children and their families all had a wonderful experience, and many were asking when they could sale again. As per one parent, "It was a positive experience, and our family needs as many of those as we can get."

Thank you for making all of the sailing trips possible this summer. Your program helps our clients heal emotionally, and take a break from stress and frequent doctors’ visits to bond as a family. You help our patients and their families remember what it is like to be carefree and take in the joys of life, like sailing, breathing in the fresh air and beautiful Newport coastline. In our minds, this program is a vital part of their treatment and helps give them strength to continue to persevere.

In addition to providing a healing day for patients and their families, you are also supporting residence in their pediatric training. These sailing trips allow pediatric residents the opportunity to connect with their patients and families outside the hospital setting. It is a unique chance for them to get to know the children beyond their diagnoses, and bond with them and their families in a comfortable, fun setting. These interactions are the most rewarding part of medicine, and programs like Sail Away remind young physicians what they love most about the career.

On behalf of our patients, their families, and our residents, we thank you again for your kindness and support. We appreciate all that you do to make Hasbro Sail Away program such a success.

With many thanks,

Jessica Farrar, M.D.
Persis Thomas, M.D.
Tiffany Yeh, M.D.

HASBRO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

For the past two summers I have had the pleasure of participating in the Sail To Prevail Program. My name is Maura Krueger, and I run the Partnership Program at the Oak Square YMCA in Brighton, MA.  Our Program's mission is to help any member with a disability that interferes with their ability to independently complete a fitness program.  Our participants represent persons with Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke recovery, developmental issues, Cerebral palsy as well as other weakened conditions.  

The first time we sailed out of the Harvard boathouse onto the Charles River, one of the participants, who has been aggressively battling the effects of a stroke, commented within the first ten minutes that, "This is the most relaxed I have been in five years."  Wow!  What a success.  Since that first experience, I have had the opportunity to take others for a sail on the Sail To Prevail boat.  All have expressed that the experience was wonderful, relaxing, exciting and much needed amongst their daily routine of doctor visits, physical therapy appointments and medication side effects. 

I believe the Sail To Prevail program will continue to be an asset to our Partnership Program at the Oak Square Y.  My vision is to give families the opportunity to experience a relaxing activity together.  A disability affects more than the immediate person.  The daily stresses filter to the entire family.  We must also consider the lifestyle change when one spouse is affected by a disability, changing the "dreams of retirement."  If, through Sail To Prevail, I can give my members a day of an activity they thought was long gone - success again!

Thank you, Sail To Prevail.

Maura Krueger
Partnership Program
Oak Square YMCA

Brighton, MA 02135


Sail To Prevail Staff

Thank you for all your help and efforts in making this summer a success with my fieldwork requirement. I have loved every minute of my time at Sail To Prevail, and I hope to make it possible with my schedule to return next summer!
Abbey (Sailing Instructor)