Oceans of Hope, the 67-foot yacht undertaking the first circumnavigation with a working crew of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), has arrived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on the latest leg of a 33,000-nautical mile global voyage.
Oceans of Hope sailed into Fort Lauderdale this morning at 11:00 a.m. local time to an enthusiastic dockside audience awaiting their arrival. Cheers ensued, horns blared and the crew looked happy to arrive in the tropical landscape of Florida.
It has been a long and arduous journey for some, including Christina Lamb Sidell, who joined the Oceans of Hope crew several weeks ago in New Jersey and sailed the extreme offshore passage around Cape Hatteras. A wife and mother hailing from Burlington, Vermont, Lamb Sidell was diagnosed with MS in 2010 when she developed optic neuritis. Since then, she has decided to face her diagnosis head-on, Lamb Sidell now views MS as a challenge that she can overcome.
“What can I do? How far can I go? What haven’t I done that I still want to do? How can I learn to work around such an unpredictable disease?” She finally states, “I take action and seize the day.”
Oceans of Hope was greeted on the dock by media, family, friends, and MS advocates, including Alan Segaloff, Co-Executive Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation based in Fort Lauderdale.
"Oceans of Hope is navigating the seas to bring awareness about MS and offers an opportunity for people with MS to feed their dreams not their fears about MS,” said Segaloff. “The motivation of this incredible crew is an inspiration to us all and we at the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation are proud to be a part of this initiative."
During the six-day stopover in Fort Lauderdale Oceans of Hope will be berthed at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, in the heart of sunny Fort Lauderdale and people living with MS will be invited to take part in sailing trips on the 6th of December. Further information can be found at www.sailing-sclerosis.org.
Later in the evening on December 6th, the Oceans of Hope crew will receive an award for their determination and dedication to sail around the globe at the “HATS OFF! Gala” at the Hyatt Regency, benefitting the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (www.msfocus.org).
Those living with MS who would like to participate in a sail on Oceans of Hope should email firstname.lastname@example.org.