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Sail On - Media



Steve and Darlene at the 2017 launch press conferece

Coverage

Belleville Intelligencer, August 2,2019 - Sailor's help battle Parkinson's

Determination by senior citizens, Parkinson’s sufferers and a love of sailing all came together at the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club this week.

It all started with Steve Van Vlaenderen of Winnipeg who, after years of dreaming, bought a 31-foot Niagara 31 sailboat and started sailing on Lake Winnipeg, teaching his wife, Darlene, along the way. A year later, after intense medical testing, in the spring of 2011, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and advised by his neurosurgeon he should give up sailing. Steve was not that kind of guy. It only whetted his appetite for yet another dream to sail all of the Great Lakes. After mastering his yacht on Lake Winnipeg he moved it to Lake Superior and cruised for a few years.

Read the full story and watch the interview

CTV News Toronto - July 18, 2019 - Man with Parkinson’s disease refuses to give up on dream of sailing

As they prepare to set sail, Steve Van Vlaenderen takes his time.

"Physically, I’m a lot slower on the boat so I’m a lot more cautious," he tells CTV News Toronto.

That’s because he is living with Parkinson’s disease and his motor skills are deteriorating.

Van Vleanderen was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease back in 2011.

Read the full story and watch the interview

Simcoe Reformer - July 3, 2019 - Couple spreads message during lake adventure

A Parkinson’s diagnosis can slow someone down, but Steve Van Vlaenderen chose to keep going after being diagnosed with the disease.

Van Vlaenderen, from Winnipeg, was initially struck down by his diagnosis in 2011 and spent some time dealing with anxiety and depression. During this time he put on weight and felt like he had "hit rock bottom."

One night in 2013 he had a long talk with his partner, Darlene Hildebrand. They discussed his dreams, goals, and he decided to get back on track.

Afterwards he decided he wanted to remain active, so he joined a gym to stay healthy. A trainer in the gym noticed his tremors and started up a conversation about strength training while living with Parkinson’s. The trainer helped him create a meal plan and get into body building, which created a new goal for Van Vlaenderen to work towards.

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Sarnia Observer - June 10, 2019 - Winnipeg man with Parkinson's disease sails on

Steve Van Vlaenderen is sailing the Great Lakes for himself, and for others living with Parkinson's disease.

The 69-year-old Winnipeg man and his partner, Darlene Hildebrand, spoke Monday in Sarnia before starting the second leg of their journey through the Great Lakes that began last summer and is set to continue until they reach the St. Lawrence River in the fall.

"I wanted to demonstrate to people with Parkinson’s that you don’t have to give up your dreams," he said. “Don’t let Parkinson’s take anything away."

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CBC Manitoba - April 23, 2019 - After Parkinson's diagnosis, sailing gives Winnipeg man his life back

When Steve van Vlaenderen was first diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2011, he was devastated.

But realizing his dream of sailing has, quite literally, put the wind back in his sails.

Van Vlaenderen and his partner, Darlene Hildebrand, have already sailed up Lake Winnipeg and travelled 1,400 kilometres on lakes Superior and Huron.

Starting in June, they plan to take two and a half months to make the 1,700-km journey through lakes Erie and Ontario — all while raising money to fight Parkinson's.

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CBC Sudbury - September 6, 2018 - Couple using journey to discuss achieving goals despite Parkinson's diagnosis

A diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is not stopping a Winnipeg couple from achieving their dream of sailing the Great Lakes.

Steve Van Vlaenderen and his partner Darlene Hildebrand were in Sudbury Wednesday talking about their experience.

Van Vlaenderen was diagnosed in 2011, one year after he bought his boat. His doctors told him he'd have to give up sailing.

"After a lifetime of dreaming about owning a sailboat I finally got one, got diagnosed and the doctor said 'I suggest you give up sailing because of lack of balance,'" he recalled.



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Sarnia Observer - August 22, 2018 - Sailing On with Parkinson's

Steve Van Vlaenderen’s right hand shakes, brushing his nylon jacket scratching.

Depression and anxiety are daily battles for the 68-year-old Winnipegger. His sense of taste and smell are gone, his hearing diminished. His muscles never stop aching.

Parkinson’s is like an iceberg, he says. You see the tremors, but below the surface is so much more.

Van Vlaenderen, diagnosed in 2011 with the degenerative neurological disease that has no cure and the cause for which is unknown, recently docked year one of a two-year adventure sailing the Great Lakes.

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Sault Online - July 30, 2018 - "Don't Give Up". Sail on with Parkinson's Inspires Us All

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Sault Online - July 23, 2018 - Parkinson’s Won’t Ground Pair from Sailing Great Lakes

One year after Steve Van Vlaenderen realized his dream of owning a sailboat, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. If that news wasn’t enough, doctors also recommended he give up sailing.

That was seven years ago. The Winnipegger didn’t listen to his doctors, and he certainly didn’t give up on his dream. On June 18, the 68-year-old yachtsman heads out on the first leg on a trip through the Great Lakes to raise awareness about Parkinson’s.

"I’m hoping that Sail on with Parkinson’s and our adventure will encourage people to look at what Parkinson’s is because it isn’t one thing — it’s multiple conditions at the same time," Van Vlaenderen said. "Parkinson’s is like an iceberg; 10 percent is above the surface that people can see, like the tremors, and 90 percent is below the water level."

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CTV News - June 13, 2018 - Manitobans Set Sail to Raise Awareness for Parkinson's (Video)

A pair of Manitobans will be setting sail on the Great Lakes this summer to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s disease.

"Even though there are limitations caused by Parkinson’s it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams and particularly in retirement,” said Darlene Hildebrand, one of the two participants.

Hildebrand and Steve Van Vlaenderen will be sailing from the western-most point of Lake Superior to Sarnia, Ont., this summer. Then next summer they will be continuing their voyage from Sarnia to Montreal.

Read More and see the video


Press Releases

Press Release: Parkinson's Won't Ground Pair from Sailing Great Lakes

One year after Steve Van Vlaenderen realized his dream of owning a sailboat, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. If that news wasn't enough, doctors also recommended he give up sailing.

That was seven years ago. The Winnipegger didn't listen to his doctors, and he certainly didn't give up on his dream. On June 18, the 68-year-old yachtsman heads out on the first leg on a trip through the Great Lakes to raise awareness about Parkinson's.

Read the full release



Past Coverage

Contact

Event Organizers:
Steve Van Vlaenderen
svan@sailon.ca

Parkinson Canada
Jon Collins
Associate Director, Events and Partnerships
jon.collins@parkinson.ca
800-565-3000 ext. 3370