Children with cancer, or other serious illnesses, are typically not treated as “normal” by their doctors and parents; perhaps rightfully so. Their friends and fellow students may handle them with kid gloves knowing they are faced with a potentially life-threatening disease. As a result, this can affect these children to the extent that they lose their self-esteem and confidence as they go through the rigors of dealing with the treatments and cautions associated with their illness, and the reactions of those they interact with on a daily basis.
Valiant Voyages has been established to give these children an opportunity to leave their illness behind for a while and take on a challenge that will give them a sense of self-worth, confidence, and purpose – and have fun in the process.
Valiant Voyages is the dream of Tim Dokter, who bought Delphis in 1999 when he found her in dry dock in Westbrook, CT. At the time she was in sad, run-down condition. He saw the boat’s potential even in its dilapidated state and began its five-year renovation with love and dedication – and always with an eye towards taking out kids with cancer to give them the adventure of their lives. His experience as a scuba diver and a sailor on the Great Lakes and in the waters of Long Island Sound, plus his background in woodworking and home restoration, made him the perfect candidate to take on this challenge. He is also a former respiratory therapist and licensed paramedic, which has exposed him to the hospital environment and its strain on patients and families.