Claire and I have now returned from the Kick Cancer Overboard cruise to Bermuda. Many thanks to those who contributed to the organization so we could have this opportunity!
Kick Cancer Overboard is a plucky little non-profit that’s taken on a rather unusual mission: giving away free cruises to people who have been affected by cancer.
Lest this sound to you like a frivolous mission, consider this. When people have been through a struggle with cancer, either as patients or caregivers, often the last thing on their priority list is their own recreation and relaxation. Cancer very often drains its victims of energy, enthusiasm, and – especially in this dysfunctional healthcare-funding system – of financial resources. Who can afford a vacation, under such circumstances?
Yet, often, a vacation is just what the doctor ordered (or would have, had he or she known about Kick Cancer Overboard).
You can view a video about Kick Cancer Overboard here.
On the cruise, Claire and I met a young couple, just married a few days before, after she had completed surgery and chemo for breast cancer. Their wedding was a hurried affair at City Hall – rather than the church wedding they’d planned – so she could receive much-needed healthcare benefits from his employer. This cruise was their honeymoon: the only one they could afford, I’m sure.
We had a lengthy conversation with a woman and her twentysomething niece, both of them grieving the recent loss of their sister and mother to a rare brain cancer. The niece, daughter of the woman who’d died, felt exhausted and drained from having been her mother’s caregiver during her final illness. The cruise was a Godsend to them both, and a way for them to reconnect with each other after their painful experience of loss.
There were whole families on the cruise, accompanied by their young, cancer-survivor children, some of the kids still showing the hair loss and facial swelling that come from chemotherapy.