A few of the organizations that sailed with us:

• Sharp Rehabilitation Center
• Sharp Rehabilitation Therapist Training
• Braille Institute
• Bay Park Center for Visually Impaired Youth
• Deaf Community Services
• School of Creative & Performing Media Arts for Physically Disabled
• Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, Higher Ground Program for Disabled Veterans
• City of San Diego Therapeutic Recreation
• National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic
• San Diego Community Coaching Center
• National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic
• Community Sailing Day for the Blind
• San Diego Adaptive Sports Foundation

Following are testimonials

“It was so great to sail with these veterans. They all had such great attitudes towards life and the opportunities it holds! Grave as some of their disabilities were (totally blind, missing legs, etc.), they all seemed to view their conditions as minor inconveniences that simply had to be dealt with as the enjoyed this big, beautiful world we live in. Being able to control the sailboat totally on their own, with me just along to give bits of advice where needed, was something that they all so enjoyed … their enthusiasm was contagious and I found myself smiling just as broadly as they were as we rounded each buoy on our way to the finish line. I know the sports clinic is organized for their benefit, not mine, but I’m selfishly hoping that its held in San Diego again next year so that I can participate! Many thanks to Kelli, Carolyn, Urban, and all the other people at Challenged America and the Department of Veterans Affairs who worked so hard to create this opportunity for our distinguished service men and women. Looking forward to next year.”
-John B., Challenged America Volunteer

“It was wonderful meeting people from all over the United States who want to experience life regardless of their physical trappings. The energy was amazing and encouraged my own desire to do the same in spite of being visually impaired. And witnessing the other volunteers giving of themselves was AWESOME!”
-Tammy A., Challenged America Volunteer

“Sailing the boat was the biggest surprise of my week! I have ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). I seriously thought I would just go for a ride and maybe hold a line in my weak hands, while someone else controlled the boat. Running the joystick put me on a level field with my team and I forgot about my physical problems. I was simply sailing and having the time of my life! Thank you for the gift of your time, spirit and resources. I will be dreaming of that day from here in NH. See you soon, my friends.”
-Ellen, Veteran Participant

“I remember one 29 year old army veteran who had done two tours in Iraq and was 100% disabled with post traumatic stress. His typical day consisted of watching TV, playing video games and sleeping. He likes the VA sports clinics because this gets him out. He particularly liked the sailing because it was peaceful and beautiful in the harbor. Once the race started, he liked the new mobility and the fact that he had control.”
-Stan B., Challenged America Volunteer

“It was, again, an extraordinary experience and one that I look forward to each year. Hopefully we can come down next year.”
-Jim T., Challenged America Volunteer

“As an individual with a disability (quadriplegic) and a professional in the rehabilitation field it is with enthusiasm that I express wholehearted support for the Challenged America Sailing Program.

Challenged America offers a unique opportunity for individuals with disabilities to explore their skills and discover their abilities while sailing in the pristine environment of San Diego Bay. Personally, I found sailing in an adapted sailboat is the great equalizer of knowing no limits or disability because everyone on the Bay faces the same challenges. My time with Challenged America has also sparked my competitive interest in risk taking and has built self-esteem. Additionally, individuals of all ages enjoy the same opportunity of sailing with Challenged America.

Challenged America is an intricate part of the disabled community bringing individuals with diverse disabilities together in a friendly and competitive environment. Challenged America also offers plenty of opportunities for participants to socialize and network. The staff and volunteers are conscientious in providing a safe and supportive environment for individuals to grow and discover their potential.

I am extremely grateful for this opportunity that Challenged America makes possible.”

-Rusty Krumm  M.S., Challenged America Participant

Being a companion sailor for a deaf teenager was an incredible day. Their is no greater feeling than when an adolescent is so excited, after having spent his first day in a sailboat on the bay.
Hearing the youngster shout with joy and then throw his arms around me, as the only way to express the awesome feeling he experienced by being ‘set free’ on the water. Awesome day!

-Marshall Lubin, Challenged America volunteer

One Response to Testimonials

  1. roberta long says:

    sailing was such a welcomed and enjoyable gift to be able to forget about my multiple sclerosis for an afternoon on the water.
    thank you randy,the volunteer companion who introduced me to your program. it was an awesome experience!

    thank you,
    roberta long

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