Sailors with disABILITIES

Oceans Of Hope for Multiple Sclerosis

Our very own Greg Pugh is sailing aboard the Oceans of Hope yacht on the America Samoa leg.

‘Oceans of Hope’ is a Danish initiative that sees a yacht, crewed by people with Multiple Sclerosis, circumnavigate the planet.

Greg in Oceans of Hope uniform at the CYCA

Greg Pugh

The campaign aims to change the perceptions of MS by showing what is possible when people with chronic and debilitating illnesses are empowered to conquer their individual circumstances. It is also concerned with connecting MS patients all across the globe in a bid to raise awareness, education and understanding of the disease.

Fortunately for us at SWD we’re lucky enough to have one of our volunteers, Greg Pugh, selected as a crew member for the America-Samoa leg of the journey.

Greg joined the SWD team in 2014 after he said ‘enough’ to the years of the emotional and physical challenges of MS. And, since joining our team Greg’s life has radically changed. He has sailed over 3000 nautical miles on world class 50ft yachts and competed in the Sydney to Hobart.

“That’s how everything started really…sailing changed everything for me”, said Greg.

Greg skippering on board an SWD yacht

 

Greg has also been instrumental in his philanthropic work, organising affiliations between Sailing Sclerosis and SWD, establishing free births for yachts, and spearheading sailing plans for world MS day in Darling Harbour on the May 27th. For these feats, Greg was offered a six week stint on the oceans of hope yacht as opposed to the usual three.

Greg departed for his leg of the Oceans of Hope campaign on April 15. He hopes to make some strong connections in his time on the water, but most importantly he wants to help those who are MS sufferers, like he once was.

Oceans of Hope

“I just want to get them out of their comfort zone and to show that their life is not over, that they can still do anything they want to,” says Greg.

Along with visiting some isolated communities, changing perceptions of MS and charting deserted islands, the yacht will visit Auckland for the 2015 ANZAN (Australia New-Zealand association of neurologists) where the Oceans of Hope crew will attend as honourable guests.

When we spoke, Greg was itching to get on the water.

“I’m just looking forward to all of the different countries, the people, the attitudes and the new experiences,” says Greg.

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