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, the founder and current director. He is an avid sailor and diver and has been sailing and diving around the world. He was a diver in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, diving on shipwrecks and underwater historical sites, and was involved in marine conservation in an underwater park in the Florida Keys. He has sailed extensively in the great lakes, Florida, and the East Coast. Through these experiences, he has learned about the “magic” of being out on the water and wanted to share that experience with others. 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.