By Diana Perez, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – A few hours on the Mariella, a vintage yacht would make anyone smile. For Linnea Duff, it’s a lifeline.

Linnea has been fighting for her life since being diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. She says, “Cancer is one of those things that take control of your life in so many ways so you get to a place where you really learn to maximize the pleasure and the good times.”

Linnea, a non-smoker, is a patient at Massachusetts General Hospitals Cancer Center or MGHCC. For a second year the hospital is taking part in Sailing Heals, a non profit program that gives cancer patients and the people who love and care for them a day on the water to bond and heal.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports.

They sailed from the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, “Regardless of the prognosis we thought everyone enjoys a beautiful day on the water and they’re hope inspiring,” explains Michele Gallagher, public relations director of Officine Panerai, a luxury watch company that runs the program.

Gallagher says it’s a needed release that helps take everyone’s mind off of the grueling treatments and endless doctors’ visits.

“There is so much that’s dedicated to research and that’s excellent but in the meantime we need to go on living and to have something that’s dedicated to that is just fabulous,” says Linnea.

Melinda Lee, Linnea’s childhood friend joined her on the sail, she says, “So often we end up taking about things that are heavy… (This) is a chance to just relax and enjoy.”

Sailing heals has partnered with two local hospitals, MGHCC and Nantucket Cottage Hospital but they are hoping to expand to other hospital around the country in the future.

  1. Italo says:

    God bless this program and the folks at Mass. General who help make it happen, as well as the individuals who participate in it. I hope that the program continues to expand, and to encourage more emotional healing, empowerment, and strength in all the participants. In their challenge and this program, they show a strength that makes us all admire and respect them!

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