MARBLEHEAD (CBS) — It was a day for eye patches and parrots for children and their families dealing with cancer thanks to the nonprofit Sailing Heals.
The goal is to give the kids a break from their illnesses and all they are going through by singing pirate songs and examining treasure maps.
“Sailing Heals was started in 2011 and our simple mission is to give people a break from cancer treatment and other serious medical things they might be going through,” said Trisha Gallagher Boisvert, one of the founders of Sailing Heals.
They met at Marblehead’s Boston Yacht Club. Five boats carried about 20 kids and their parents to several docks where they found treasures and even battled other pirates with marshmallows.
Evan is being treated for leukemia. “It’s a nice day to go on a pirate ship,” he said.
Evangelina just finished her treatments. She’s a great marshmallow thrower. “We were throwing them at the pirates because we wanted their treasures,” she explained.
Volunteer pirate captains were at the helm. “My family is very healthy. I have a boat on the water and they asked me if I could help out and I said sure, why not? It’s a great cause,” said captain Carl Edwards.
The kids also got to do pirate arts and crafts. “It’s awesome. Just to have a fun day where the kids can just play and have such an amazing experience. We wouldn’t do this otherwise so we’re pretty grateful,” said Michelle Gandra, the mother of one of the young pirates.
Boisvert said, “We know we can’t cure cancer at Sailing Heals, but we can bring good people together to try and share a good experience and give people some great new memories.”
Sailing Heals operates in nine states with about 250 volunteer captains.