MS Does Not Slow Challenged America Sailors

Another Excellent Sailor at Challenged America, meet Eric!

Eric BrandThe son of a salesman and bookkeeper, Eric Brand was born in Tarzana, a suburb of the San Fernando Valley located to the northwest of Los Angeles.  As a teen, he attended Taft High School in neighboring Woodland Hills. Reaching college age Eric matriculated to Cal State University Northridge where he studied a varied of subjects unsure, at the time, of what discipline would pique his interest.  Being a sports enthusiast, however, he did play volleyball.  But like many, Eric always wanted to venture south to surf on San Diego’s pristine beaches, a dream which reached fruition when he came to study in our local colleges.

 

After arriving in the sunny southland in 1981, Eric attended SDSU. During his sojourn as an undergrad, he took a year to head farther south, where he attended two semesters of classes in Guadalajara, Mexico. There, Eric focused on improving his Spanish fluency.  He then backtracked north, to the land of the gringo, where he worked a year clerking for Michael Dodge, a local bankruptcy attorney.  Having found that the study of law was the subject that stoked Eric’s fires, it was in 1986 that he set his sights on Pepperdine Law School in the sage covered mountains overlooking Malibu.  After graduating from Pepperdine, the new graduate remained local for his first real job, a deputy public defender for the County of Los Angeles.

As 1994 dawned, Eric once again set his sights on a return to America’s Finest City.  Transferring to San Diego as an alternate public defender he was again jazzed to settle in the land of sun and surf.  It was at that time that mild symptoms of a disabling disease began to molest Eric. It was just before his transfer in 1994 that he went to seek medical aid, curious as to what was causing his nascent symptoms. Soon thereafter, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Continue reading

DISABLED SAILORS FOCUS ON SAFETY

There seems to always be controversy when it comes to people with disabilities and sailing safety.  The “What happens if …?” and “How can they do it?” doubters abound, and our answer is always:  “Prepare, Prevent and Practice, Practice, Practice!”, according to Challenged America co-founder and the charity’s volunteer president  Urban Miyares, a sailor with more than five-decades of sailing experience. 

Sailors at the San Diego-based Challenged America Program come from around the nation and the world; of all ages, they have both hidden and obvious medical conditions.   Sailing on San Diego’s Big Bay, as well as offshore, , these sailors with disabilities, along with their loved ones, as well as professional sailing instructors, therapists and rehabilitation specialists, participate in the 36-year-old,  year-round, no-cost, volunteer-driven, therapeutic adaptive sailing program.   

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Deaf Teenagers from Southern California sail with Challenged America

On Saturday, 11/16/13, a group of deaf teenagers came from all over Southern California to sail Martin 16s with Challenged America on San Diego Bay.   Special thanks to Sue and Lori for setting up this special group sail; to Cameron, Lori and Phil for interpreting; and to Phil for the photos.

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