Oceans of Hope, the 67-foot yacht undertaking the first global circumnavigation with a working crew that includes people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), is set to arrive at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this weekend.
Oceans of Hope, sponsored by Biogen, is the flagship vessel of the Sailing Sclerosis Foundation and is making a 33,000 nautical mile voyage. The aim of Oceans of Hope is to change perceptions of MS by showing what is possible when people with a chronic disease are empowered to conquer their individual challenges. The Sailing Sclerosis Foundation was founded by Danish doctor and psychotherapist, Mikkel Anthonisen, who has also captained the yacht part-time during the voyage.
“Oceans of Hope is about giving hope and providing possibilities to people living with MS. We want to create equal access to empowerment and to change the perception of what it is like to live with a chronic disabling disease,” said Dr Anthonisen.
The yacht will be greeted by friends, well-wishers and MS advocates, including the CEO of Multiple Sclerosis Australia, Debra Cerasa.
“Oceans of Hope is navigating around the world to increase awareness about MS. It is a truly unique demonstration of what people with MS can achieve via their dreams and commitment,” said Ms Cerasa.
Andrew Potter is an Australian MS patient who joined the crew in New Zealand and will help sail the yacht along the east coast of Australia to Darwin.
“It’s the experience of a life time and a privilege to join Oceans of Hope to help inspire others with MS and raise awareness of this neurological condition. People with MS can still do great things and this world-first sail is testament to the progress that has been made in treating and managing MS,” said Mr Potter.
Managing Director of Biogen in Australia and New Zealand, Joerg Hermans, said the company was delighted to be sponsoring such a ground breaking project in MS.
“Biogen is all about caring deeply and helping people with MS to change their lives. The Oceans of Hope project is certainly a global embodiment of those principles for us,” said Mr Hermans.
– Palin Communications