Kevin Corrigan has been sailing for more years than he cares to remember. Oddly enough, his first experience “sailing” was not on the water but on a sleigh. When the fields across the road where he lived as a boy froze over, Kevin and his older brother would take an old bed sheet their mom had given them (”anything to keep us out of the house!”) and on a blustery, early Spring day, they discovered the joys of downwind sailing on a makeshift three foot iceboat.
When Kevin was first diagnosed with MS almost 20 years ago, the news hit especially hard, ”You see, my wife Gloria had been diagnosed with MS 12 years before… Yep! Who says lightning never strikes twice in the same place? However, I have been blessed. My MS has been well controlled since then. But having watched Gloria struggle over the years, (ultimately losing her ability to walk), I’m fully aware of how debilitating this disease can be. It is for her sake that I would like to try and serve as an example of what people living with MS can achieve.”
He goes on to say, ”While people with MS may be less able, they certainly are able.This idea did not originate with me, but from Gloria. The grace, courage and optimistic enthusiasm she exhibits nearly every day, despite being in a wheelchair for the past 15 years, are a marvel to behold. She is my inspiration. She has proven over and over again that a diagnosis of MS does not mean you can’t live a full and meaningful life. Even having a few dreams come true like raising a family (or sailing on Oceans of Hope!). She has shown me that just because life throws you a few curves, you still can come out swinging.”
Kevin remebers a line from the film “White Squall”, which serves as a great motto, not only for those living with MS, but for life in general: “…You can’t run from the wind… you trim your sails and keep going.”