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MS sailing challenge comes to UK

Oceans of Hope yacht has crew of people with multiple sclerosis and is supported by Biogen Idec
oceans of hope boat

A yacht crewed by entirely people with multiple sclerosis (MS) made a stop off in Portsmouth, UK, last week as part of 17-month voyage around the world.

Oceans of Hope, which is supported by pharma company Biogen Idec, is the first global circumnavigation by a yacht crewed by people with MS and is intended to inspire people with MS to follow their goals.

The project is the idea of the Sailing Sclerosis Foundation which was set up by Danish doctor and psychotherapist, Mikkel Anthonisen. The yacht set sail from Copenhagen on June 15, spent four days in Portsmouth last week, developing networks between the MS and sailing communities by organising sailing taster sessions.

Last Friday more than 20 people with MS sailed on the Thames barge Alice and on a wheelchair-accessible motor boat, Wet Wheels, before the yacht headed off to France as part of a journey that will also take in North America, South America and Australia.

One crewmember with MS commented that it was the first time since he had been diagnosed that he had been able to talk with others about their experiences of the disease, while a former professional sailor found he still had what it takes.

Oceans of Hope crew 

Speaking at the campaign's launch in May, Biogen Idec senior vice president, Europe and Canada David Allsop said: “Treatment of MS needs to be holistic, incorporating the right therapies with community programmes and resources.

“Through its message of empowerment, we believe that Oceans of Hope can benefit thousands of patients around the world.”

Biogen Idec's interests in the area include the injectable treatment Tysabri (natalizumab) and its new oral MS drug Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate).

Article by
Tara Craig

16th July 2014

From: Marketing

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