It’s been another fulfilling year at Sail For Epilepsy. With both land-based and sea-based activities taking place over 8 months, we visited 7 states and 3 countries, competed in 5 offshore races, and held an additional 7 virtual events. We continued to raise awareness and educate by giving presentations within the non-epilepsy community at two Rotary Clubs, a non-profit, a Fortune 1000 company, and an international science organization. We provided inspiration and in turn were inspired during epilepsy community events in Florida, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Washington, California, South Carolina, and Canada.

The start of the Bermuda 1-2. Photo: Glenn Walters, Bluenose Yacht Sales

Our year-long Recognizing 26 campaign to highlight the prevalence of epilepsy (1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime) saw us sailing nearly 2600 nautical miles and over 26 separate voyage legs. The most grueling of these voyages was Phil’s 692 solo miles to Bermuda which resulted in a 3rd place finish in his class. This bettered his time in the previous edition of the Bermuda 1-2. As with all of his voyages, Phil brings along our crew of over 520 Virtual Shipmates, who live in 20 different countries. More than half a million people in 93 countries followed along on our website and social media channels.

Lasting Memories

While we like to look at numbers when we review our efforts each year, it’s really the individual memories from events or online interactions that motivate us to pursue the Sail For Epilepsy mission.

A teenager in Long Beach who was being bullied at school because of her epilepsy. She decided to speak up and by educating her class about her disorder, has found more confidence and acceptance.

A Virtual Shipmate in Canada who is bravely exploring his options to treat his epilepsy through surgery.

A young camper in Washington whose nautical flag read “I’m proud of my epilepsy.”

A Virtual Shipmate in New Hampshire sharing her progress in her One More Step Challenge and the gathered families cheering her efforts.

Mothers and daughters teaming up to build and race their model boats, finding ways to participate in activities together even if they need to be modified.  

An emotional story shared by an audience member who is now a firm believer in the importance of teaching seizure first aid as a potential life-saving skill.

Supporting the Voyage Ahead

We were thrilled to welcome two additional sponsors on board in 2023. Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Bluenose Yacht Sales joined admiralty level sponsor Neurelis in supporting Sail For Epilepsy. These powerful moments would not be possible without them and the many other donors who generously contribute to Sail For Epilepsy.

As we look ahead to 2024, we will continue to hold both land and sea based events, seeking to increase our network to include all 50 states and additional countries worldwide. You have many choices of where to share your financial generosity. Regardless of whether or not you choose to donate, we thank you for your interest in the Sail For Epilepsy project and invite you to follow the voyage as we continue to expand our efforts in 2024.

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