How getting afloat can make a difference to people living with MS
The year before he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2010, Nick Jarvis, bought a wheelchair on eBay. The pain in his legs was so bad he couldn’t walk properly. The wheelchair gave him a bit more freedom, some of his life back.
Seven years later he independently walked off a yacht in Turkey with one crutch. It was, he insists, impossible. And yet it happened.
So how does sailing promote independence and confidence in people with MS?
“For me MS dimmed the lights,” explains Robert Munns, founder of Oceans of Hope UK, a charity that offers people from all over the world the opportunity to sail alongside others with MS. “MS affects your life on a daily basis; it takes your identity away, you feel isolated and fear the unknown and loss of possibilities.
“For seven years after my diagnosis I’d not been committing to life. Everything felt pointless; I didn’t know how I was going to feel tomorrow let alone in six months. By making them realise what’s possible, sailing gives people with MS the opportunity to achieve their own form of greatness. The lights go back on.”