SAILING THE WORLD WITH ONLY 6 MONTHS TO LIVE
What would you do if you only had 6 months to live? We’ve tossed that question around as a hypothetical but never while examining our own mortality.
But this pandemic has placed us smack dab in the middle of one man’s incredible journey. No hypotheticals, just pure inspiration of a refusal to give up on dreams, even in the face of life’s harshest reality.
This is the story of our friend Mark Paarman.
Our friend Mark was given just that, 6 months, at best, of life left to live.
We’ve seen a lot of inspirational, yet bittersweet movies about friendship, family, and having someone you love facing off with a terminal illness. But we have watched as outsiders…never knowing we would one day have such an intimate relationship with the plot.
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Mark is stuck in Fiji, his wife is stuck in South Africa. Borders are closed, options painfully limited and even if a repatriation flight were an option…it would be like walking into a minefield. We’ve spent many sunsets discussing sailing routes and what it would take to get the boat back to South Africa. But it’s a long route with the current state of the world and nowhere to seek refuge along the way…especially with a skeleton crew.
Selling the boat would be a dream, but doing that at a time when borders are closed is also a challenge. There are several people interested, but how do they get here and where do they sail after they buy it?
I don’t know where the story will go from here. I don’t know how this chapter of our lives will affect us. What I do know is, the year 2020 has only further solidified my philosophy on fear, safety, and security.
Helen Keller already said it best, so I will quote her for probably the 100th time on this blog.
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it…Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Faith alone defends. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
We use our false sense of safety as an excuse to avoid things we’re afraid of or that feel too difficult. But we humans are far more capable than we know. Facing fear is an ongoing battle and one worth fighting. Because life has an expiration date.
So circumstances or pandemic be damned. We must paddle out towards our dreams and charge at life like Mark Paarman charges at a wave…like it might be our last monster of a ride!
Please Help Mark!
I can’t imagine being in Mark’s situation. Knowing that the medicine giving him the quality of life is simply out of financial reach. Looking at those last pills together…it felt almost inhumane. $5,300USD ($92,000 ZAR) is what Mark pays for a 30day supply of Tagrisso Osimertinib because it isn’t covered by insurance. That is more than most cruisers’ entire monthly budget and I don’t personally know anyone that could keep that up.
This is where Jason and I feel like we have an opportunity to make a difference. Our community here is so strong and passionate, and together anything is possible. Please help us get Mark more of the medicine that is providing him the quality of life.
If you are willing, please share this video or post with AstraZeneca (the company that makes the medicine) and ask them to please sponsor Mark. He would really like to spend his last days with his wife and family.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease…so let’s make a ruckus!
Here’s the contact info we could find on AstraZeneca:
More about Mark Paarman
- How Mark and His brothers started Nexus Catamarans (now Balance): https://balancecatamarans.com/project/paarman-surfers-journal/
- Broken bones, broken boards and big barrels: https://jeffreysbaynews.wordpress.com/tag/marky-paarman/
- Marks brother Donald wrote an autobiography about his life: https://amzn.to/2Y0VTbO
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