Oceans of Hope, the 67-foot yacht undertaking the first round-the-world voyage with a working crew of people with MS, recently arrived in Panama City having passed through the Panama Canal.
‘Going through the Panama Canal is an epic moment for us’, said Dr Mikkel Anthonisen, Founder and CEO of the Sailing Sclerosis Foundation. ‘To enter from the Atlantic side into the Pacific Ocean just seven months after leaving Copenhagen is almost a transforming process. Just like our goal of changing the perceptions of MS – we are making the impossible possible’
Giovanni Profeta, a lawyer from Venezuela, is the only crew member hailing from South America. He was diagnosed with MS in 2010 after the discovery of intense optical neuritis and the loss of strength in his lower body.
Giovanni says: ‘Right now I feel I have friends all around. We’re not simply patients with something in common, we are doing something out of this world, and we are all putting our biggest effort to make it happen.’
During its stay in Panama, Oceans of Hope will change its crew, taking on six new people with MS. The yacht will then sail into the Pacific, heading for the Galapagos Islands and then New Zealand.
This ground-breaking circumnavigation will end in Barcelona in October 2015, at the MS2015 ACTRIMS/ECTRIMS global conference.
People living with MS from all over the world are participating as crew on each leg of the voyage and places are still available on board throughout the journey. To find out more and apply to take part, people living with MS can download the application forms at sailing-sclerosis.org.