This spring, we invited people with epilepsy to join our crew as Virtual Shipmates by participating in our One More Step Challenge. We asked, “Are you able to do something to improve your quality of life? Can you take one extra step to do something you haven’t done before, with the necessary safety measures in place?”
To recognize their courage, we’re adding the first names of all our Virtual Shipmates to the hull of our boat so that they can come along as we sail the oceans of the world.
We are thrilled with the response so far to our One More Step Challenge and proud to welcome nearly 120 new Virtual Shipmates to our crew! Laura, from Australia, is working on completing her masters, with the ultimate goal of a PhD. Makenna, from North Carolina, is walking a mile every day. Jason, from Ireland, is going to plan for his own lifelong ambition of sailing around the world. Gabby, from Illinois, is becoming more involved in her healthcare and relying less on her parents. Eddie, from the United Kingdom, is going to walk 100km during June. Tyler, from South Africa, is learning to play the drums.
Before we launched the boat in April, we added our Virtual Shipmates to the bow. Thanks to everyone who attended our virtual event last week to be some of the first to see their names displayed – it was wonderful to meet you all electronically!
Benefits of Becoming a Virtual Shipmate
Several times a week during this summer’s East Coast Expedition, we will pick one Virtual Shipmate to feature. By sharing their inspirational stories, we will raise awareness not only about epilepsy but about ways that people with epilepsy aren’t letting this disorder prevent them from living their fullest life possible. Featured Virtual Shipmates will receive a Sail For Epilepsy flag that was flown on the day they were highlighted, with the noon position and their name written on the flag.
Whenever Phil leaves the dock, he will be sailing for more than himself: he is sailing for anyone else with epilepsy, their families, their caregivers, and anyone who has decided to take an extra step to live a fuller life. He also sails for those who have been lost as a result of epilepsy, to honor their memory and to raise funds for research, so that a future generation of people with epilepsy will have better seizure control.