Crew with a Cause: A Journey of Hope

28 June 2016 By Hillary Hoffower

It’s been more than a year since Engineer JacobNicol fell overboard while cleaning the 82-meter M/Y Kibo. Left with severe brain damage, Jacob has made progressdoctors never thought he would, but he still continues to fight the odds. Currently,he’s in a slow stream rehab unit where his family has been able to rent Eyegazeequipment for a few weeks, which has allowed him to effectively communicatewhat he needs and signal when he’s in pain. But he’s only been given funding for90 days. That’s where crewmember Courtney Shore — and you — come in.

Shore, a friend of Jacob’s, will be trekking the SalkantayPass to Machu Picchu in Peru for five days to raise £7,000 to purchase the Eyegaze equipment for “the most uniqueand beautiful person I’ve ever met.”

“This equipment is something his family would love to haveand cannot afford themselves; it is really priceless and special to think thatwe will be able to communicate with him on some level,” says Shore, adding thatit’s the perfect tool for Jacob, as using it has allowed him to show others hecan track with his eyes and blink on command.

“The Eyegaze has many different options and ways to helpJacob learn, communicate, and, most important of all, keep focused and not giveup,” she says. “He has such an intelligent and creative mind, playing andcreating music, writing stories, and sketching; he is the type of person whohas always loved to keep himself mentally stimulated.”

However, Shore hopes to raise more than just money — shealso hopes to raise awareness once more that yachting is predominately a youngperson’s industry and to never do something you’re not trained for or you feelis unsafe. “Always be conscious about everything you are doing and make sureyou and your work mates are safe,” she says, adding that she also wants tospread the message of a positive and active lifestyle, as it’s easy for ahealthy and young person’s life to be changed.

“Be positive and appreciative of everything you are doingand the abilities you have to do those things, try hard at everything you do,and take everything as a learning curve,” she advises. “An incident like this reallymakes you appreciate life, those you have around you, and the difference youcan make.”

Shore will embark on the trek on October 8 and will bepaying for it and the flights herself, with all money raised going towardbuying the Eyegaze equipment. Machu Picchu, which offers a challenge andcultural experiences to Shore, has always been on her bucket list, and it’s ajourney she knows Jacob would have done himself as they always hiked togetherin Cornwall.

As Shore, who is inspired by Jacob every day, puts it,“Jacob loves nature, and I’ll be thinking of him every step of the way.”

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