By JULIAN CANTRES
Oceans of Hope, a sailboat manned by people with multiple sclerosis, anchored in Manhattan on Tuesday.
The 67-foot-long vesselHo departed from Copenhagen, Denmark in June. Since then, she has made stops at several European cities and Boston. She has three permanent crew members and up to seven temporary members, who are usually invited to the trip by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the main sponsors of the project.
In addition to stops to replenish supplies, the crew members also have visited events such as MS Boston, a conference about multiple sclerosis.
The Oceans of Hope voyage is the brainchild of Mikkel Anthonisen, who has worked as a doctor and psychotherapist at Copenhagen University Hospital. He was inspired to begin the project after a meeting with a patient with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder that damages the central nervous system and has no known cure.
According to Anthonisen, the 55-year-old blacksmith had built a boat in the hopes of sailing the world, but was unable to due to his muscles becoming too weak.
“When people get the disease, [they] feel ashamed”, he said at a mooring in Battery Park City, Since it can have various symptoms, Anthonisen felt, a project where “everyone depends on each other” would be suitable for those who have the disease.
The team has attempted to get in touch with the aforementioned patient, but with no success.
The voyage’s next stop is Fort Lauderdale. The crew also planned to continue to Australia, South Africa, and Brazil. They were expected to return to Denmark in November 2015, totaling 33,000 nautical miles.