HWVT & Cruising World magazine

 

 

 

 

We are honored to be featured in the December 2016 issue of Cruising World magazine.

 

Sitting quietly at the dock, the white O’Day 28.5 Jubilee, built more than three decades ago, doesn’t look like much of a game-changer. But that’s exactly what it’s been for more than 300 people who have been dealing with cancer — either in treatment or finished with it because there’s nothing else to be done.

One of their more memorable passengers was Helen, who along with her sister Kathy and several other family members enjoyed a late-August sail aboard Jubilee. Two months later, Kathy called to say that Helen had died that morning. “She said, ‘I want you to know that the entire family is here in our living room, and they’re all talking about what an amazing sail that was with you,’. ‘You provided something no one else was able to — memories that will be with us forever.’ Healing Winds takes passengers with all types of cancer and of all ages. “They show up with whomever they want to bring in tow,” says Findholt. “We help them down to the boat, make sure they’re comfortable, and then we’re off for a three-hour sail. By and large, most are not sailors, and some have never been on a sailboat before.” The boat is sailed by at least one licensed captain and a volunteer from the organization.

For the past two summers, Vermonter Glen Findholt has spearheaded an organization called Healing Winds to take those patients, along with their family and friends, sailing on the scenic waters of Lake Champlain aboard Jubilee, providing them with a brief but valuable respite from their everyday challenges.

It’s a dramatic change for patients because they’re out there with no distractions and no set destination. “You go where the wind takes you,” “which is sort of what we all do in life.”

Launched in 2014, Healing Winds is a nonprofit with a board of eight and more than 100 volunteers, many of whom are cancer survivors or close to someone who has dealt with cancer. Program participation has sky­rocketed in just two years. In the first season, they took out 115 patients and caregivers. In 2015, that number swelled to 187, and the 2016 season had nearly 300 guests.