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Seven-year-old Lynn Gulli, a leukemia patient at Yale New Haven Hospital, takes over steering the Violet during Valiant Voyages trip in Stonington Harbor on Sunday, Aug. 27. The program gives patients and their families a break from hospitals and treatments.
Program Takes Families Away from Treatment Regimens for Adventurous Break
STONINGTON, CT – September 14, 2017 – Valiant Voyages for kids with cancer or other serious illnesses had its first excursion on the Violet out of Dodson’s Boatyard on Sunday, August 27. Seven-year-old Lynn Gulli was the guest of honor along with her brother, Rocky, and their parents, Cindy and Rocco of Greenwich, CT. The family learned of the program through Yale New Haven Hospital where Lynn is undergoing treatment.
After touring the Violet, a 45-foot Scots Zulu built in 1911 in Fraserburgh, Scotland, Roger Lancaster, the vessel’s owner, gave Lynn and five-year-old Rocky a chance to steer the classic ketch, used as a fishing vessel until the 1930s. Adding to the day’s excitement, a rare, ocean sunfish appeared alongside the boat, its large dorsal fin piercing the surface. Captain Lancaster identified the species, often mistaken for a shark.
“We are a family that values outdoor experiences,” said Rocco Gulli. “Today put a smile on our daughter’s face.”
“That’s what our program is all about,” said Tim Dokter, founder of Valiant Voyages. “We want to give these children and their families a break from hospitals and treatments. Sunday was a perfect day for a sailing adventure with brilliant blue skies and just enough wind to fill the Violet’s enormous sails. We have several more trips scheduled in September.”
About Valiant Voyages
Valiant Voyages, founded in 2013, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational, self-affirming program for children who have cancer or another serious illness. It allows them to sail a large vessel, experience the marine environment, get away from the rigors of dealing with their illness and have fun in the process. Visit www.valiantvoyages.org to learn more about the program, schedule a trip or make a donation.