Jenny Girvin-Baker says:
I used to dream of the sailing adventures I would have one day. I purchased a little sailing boat in the 1990s and took a couple of sailing courses to gain the skills I would need for the longer trips I planned to take. Then everything started to go wrong.
I dislocated my knee very badly and had a succession of joint problems, which culminated in the diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a rare, inherited disorder that manifests as hyper-mobility and instability in joints. I could no longer jump nimbly around my little boat, so with great sadness, she had to be sold. It was such a blow.
When I found out about Cowes Sailability Club last year, I was really excited to try sailing again – but also pretty nervous. I had lost my confidence, along with my stability, but the volunteers were so welcoming and supportive. Now, at the Monday afternoon sailing and boating sessions, the volunteers encourage me to do whatever I feel able to do. They are such a fantastic group and everyone helps everyone else. When I get home on Mondays, I’m just buzzing!
After being diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome I thought I would never sail again, but my dreams of sailing around the Isle of Wight have actually come true with Cowes Sailability Club. To be out on the water again, with such a friendly bunch of people, is so lovely.