Arms around each other, the crew of Oceans of Hope were given a standing ovation by more than 4,000 people at the opening ceremony of MSBoston2014.
The joint ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS meeting is the world’s largest annual international conference devoted to basic and clinical research in multiple sclerosis with almost 9,000 delegates.
Oceans of Hope founder, Dr Mikkel Anthonisen described how he’d had the idea for the project and how it had grown in to the voyage that is changing perceptions of multiple sclerosis around the world.
As a rapt audience applauded again, Dr Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, President of ACTRIMS, and Prof Maria Trojano, President of ECTRIMS, presented him and the crew with a cheque for $10,000 US dollars for the Sailing Sclerosis Foundation.
The 20-metre yacht arrived in Boston, USA, on Monday (8 Sept) after a 4,000-nautical mile, 38-day voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from Lisbon, Portugal. During the course of the conference the crew of Oceans of Hope, which is undertaking the first global circumnavigation crewed by people with MS, will share their stories with patient advocacy groups, physicians and other medical practitioners.
Oceans of Hope was named in Copenhagen on World MS Day, 28 May, the theme for which this year is access. The project will encourage participation in sailing, organising sailing events for people with MS as the yacht makes its way around the world. Further stopovers are planned in New York (11-16 November) and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, (5-9 December).