Treasure Coast Essay
7:20 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Cruises for children with cancer


Ahoy, yacht owners in the Jupiter area!  You are invited to take a child with cancer and the child’s family on an afternoon cruise.  It is fun for the child, takes his or her mind off cancer and gives the family a break.  The salt air, the sunshine, the breeze, the view all add up to a therapeutic experience.   The program is managed by the Freedom Waters Foundation, which has been operating on the West Coast of Florida and in the Fort Lauderdale area and the Palm Beaches.  Now it is expanding into Jupiter. The cruises are called Weller Days, named for cancer survivor John Weller.  When he was in the hospital, Weller met boys and girls who were undergoing chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.  A boater all his life, Weller decided that when he was well enough he would arrange for children with cancer to go out on boats.  Referrals to the program come from hospitals, doctors and a non-profit called POST, for Pediatric Oncology Support Team.  The typical cruise lasts three hours and includes lunch. The yacht owner at the helm enjoys it, too.  Freedom Waters offers other marine experiences for those with special needs, for young people at risk and for veterans.  To learn more, go to freedomwatersfoundation.org.  For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.