In this episode, Dr. David Hanscom talks further with Deborah Mellen about her journey through a dark and painful period after suffering a car accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down and the death of her husband two years later from a heart attack. Her father, a Holocaust survivor, counseled her to keep moving forward and never ask “why?” as a way to get through her struggle. During her rehabilitation, she discovered her passion for sailing through the Shake-a-Leg organization in Miami, FL. She felt a sense of freedom and joy when she was on the water. She soon began volunteering with the organization. Building on that, she went on to create the Impossible Dream, Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit that offers others with disabilities the healing experience of sailing.
Each summer, Deborah and the Impossible Dream catamaran travel over 4,000 miles from Miami to Maine and back, stopping in over a dozen ports to collaborate with the nation’s leading rehabilitation hospitals, advocacy organizations, and disability groups. At each stop, the Impossible Dream offers the opportunity to patients, participants, and their families for daysails around local waters at no cost to guests. During the sails, participants, converse with crew members, explore the universal design features of the vessel, and simply enjoy a day out on the water with loved ones. The daysails on the Impossible Dream serve as a foundation for members of the disabilities community to explore innovation, outdoor recreation, alternative rehabilitation, community building, and foster independence. Learn more at: www.theimpossibledream.org