Belinda found joy and friendship at Cowes Sailability Club after multiple sclerosis limited her ability to participate in other activities.
A diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis 23 years ago has resulted in many unwanted changes in my physical ability and life in general. The number of symptoms I contend with has increased in number and severity, particularly during the last 10 years when I have been permanently in a wheelchair. Interests and occupations that I loved, including designing and making silver and gold jewellery, felt making and swimming in the sea, all became impossible.
It seemed that my life was becoming increasingly limited in the things I could enjoy…. That is, until I was introduced to Sailability! What a wonderful, exciting and exhilarating experience it has been to participate in sailing for the first time! Thanks to the tireless support of the many volunteers, who willingly offer their help and expertise with great kindness and good humour, I have been able to enjoy being on the sea – something I would never have dreamed would be possible.
What a joy it has been to be on the water either at speed on Wetwheels, the power boat, or at a more leisurely pace in the sailing dinghies. Learning a little about sailing and doing something completely new has been amazing, together with experiencing the feeling of the waves, wind and spray. It has been delightful to meet with others with disabilities, and the volunteers, all united through the thrill of sailing!