Nicola’s Story


“I knew this was an adventure I needed to be a part of, at a time when I needed to prove that I could still challenge myself in life.

I was diagnosed with MS after several years of ill health. In 2014, aged 38, I was medically retired. I was unable to do much independently due to fatigue and balance issues and lacked confidence after struggling at work for some time. I found it difficult to walk and communicate, had extreme fatigue and felt that the future didn’t hold much hope for me.
Nicola and a fellow sailor holding up an Oceans of Hope flag on the stern of a yacht with the light blue sea and sky behind them

Just 3 months later, I heard about a boat (Oceans of Hope) sailing around the world, crewed by people living with MS. Somehow, I knew this was an adventure I needed to be a part of, at a time when I needed to prove that I could still challenge myself in life. I decided to apply!

I flew to the USA and sailed 400 miles from Charleston to Fort Lauderdale. It was not all easy, but it was the adventure of a lifetime, and I returned a different person, having discovered the joy of sailing and learning and working as a team to achieve something amazing! This newfound confidence, along with medical advances in the treatment of MS, lifestyle changes and being able to pace myself and have adequate rest, have helped me to change my life.

Nicola on board Spirit of Scott Barder catamaran wearing a red sailing jacket and talking to a sailing participant in a wheelchair who is at the helm and another sailor pointing the direction

In 2015 I met Robert Munns, who had also been part of the circumnavigation.  He had an inspiring idea to organise more sailing adventures so others living with MS could experience what we had.  Working together we formed our charity, Oceans Of Hope UK, and we now organise regular sailing challenges for people with MS both in the UK and other countries.

Being a Trustee and volunteer with Oceans Of Hope UK has given me a renewed sense of purpose in life. I see the difference participating in these adventures makes in other people’s lives, and I love being part of the wonderful oceans of hope family.

Nicola and three other sailors sitting on the deck of a yacht smiling with a blue sky behind

Robert’s Story

Leading Oceans of Hope UK has reignited a passion for adventure and new experiences which had been quashed since my MS diagnosis…

Robert standing on the deck of a yacht in a red sailing jacket talking to the crew

Subscribe to our mailing list

Join our mailing list to receive the latest info on upcoming challenges and our quarterly newsletter.