Saturday marked our fourth port stop in the East Coast Expedition, hosted by Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania and Paul’s Purple Warriors. While Phil wasn’t able to sail to Philadelphia, due to a nagging back injury, this didn’t effect the overall success for the day. The local epilepsy community came together for a family-friendly educational afternoon and inspirational evening at the Independence Seaport Museum. This venue proved to be a truly special location, right along the banks of the Delaware River and rich in maritime exhibits.
Twenty-two children with epilepsy and family members joined us for a couple hours in the afternoon, where they met Phil, learned to tie knots, learned about constellations and how to estimate sunset, and signed a flag that we’ll fly from the boat during future voyages. After some time in the classroom, Cody the pirate scooped up the kids and took them on a tour of the exhibits at the museum. We all gathered again to encourage everyone to take the One More Step Challenge and for some fun group photos aboard the largest model ship in the world! We’re thrilled to welcome seventeen new Virtual Shipmates to the crew, who are all taking steps towards living a fuller life. Marissa is going to ride her bike the last day of school with her class. Eddy is going to be a more patient and loving father to better understand his daughter and the difficulties she endures every day. Charlie is going to run a mile.
After saying goodbye to the kids and their families, we shifted gears for the Night at the Museum, where we welcomed seventy-three members of the local epilepsy community for a rooftop reception, overlooking the river. Guests were able to view the museum’s exhibits before enjoying refreshments, live music, and each other’s company on a beautiful evening. The President and CEO of Epilepsy Foundation Eastern Pennsylvania, Missy Dolaway, introduced Phil, who then spoke a bit about the Sail For Epilepsy mission and his journey with epilepsy. He then challenged the guests to take the One More Step Challenge with the goal of beating the total number of people who had signed up during our previous Boston port stop. The community rose to the occasion, with twenty-five more people taking an extra step towards living a fuller life, bring the Philadelphia total up to forty-two!
Thanks to our hosts as well as to all the generous volunteers and sponsors for a wonderful day of events supporting the Philadelphia area epilepsy community.