Yesterday afternoon Sail For Epilepsy and the Portuguese League Against Epilepsy (LPCE) hosted a 2 hour event at Douro Marina, across from the city of Porto, Portugal. The extreme heat of the week thankfully subsided and it was a beautiful sunny afternoon to welcome members of the local epilepsy community to learn more about Phil’s journey with epilepsy, his sailing adventures across the Atlantic Ocean, and to participate in some nautical activities.
After arriving and enjoying some juice and cookies, LPCE board member Ricardo Rego welcomed the crowd to the event and introduced Phil. A new challenge that Sail For Epilepsy is navigating for international events is the need for translation and the LPCE members who volunteered at this event were critical to helping Phil and the other crew members with the presentations and activities, in addition to organizing the event itself.
After hearing from Phil, the attendees split into groups to learn how to tie some knots, to learn about the use of signal flags while sailing, and each made their own flag, that will eventually be made into one large Porto Port Stop flag that will be flown from the boat on future voyages. There was also station dedicated to teaching about seizure first aid and some other facts about epilepsy.
Once these activities were over, the crowd participated in the One More Step Challenge activity, in which they were all encouraged to choose to do something to live a fuller life and by doing so, become a Virtual Shipmate. We were pleased to welcome over 20 new shipmates to the crew and look forward to adding their names to the boat.
It was rewarding to speak with several participants who stayed after the activities, sharing common experiences related to epilepsy and learning from one another. While we seek to inspire and educate, in turn we are inspired and gain knowledge during these opportunities to share with one another.
Our thanks to everyone who helped make this event a success!