Praise

Praise for Go Anyway:

"It is no small thing to throw away the physical and financial security of life on land to pursue the free life afloat. But it takes a wild kind of courage to do so immediately after being diagnosed with the terrible degenerative disease, Parkinson’s. But Lyn and Jim Foley were determined that nothing would stand between them and their lifelong dream, circumnavigating our Earth. And in spite of Jim’s condition, they did so with heart and style. Lyn Foley recounts their amazing journey in an articulate, honest, and warm fashion. For any aspiring cruisers still making excuses for not casting off those dock lines, I recommend reading “Go Anyway”.

-Alvah Simon, author of North to the Night, Contributing Editor, Cruising World.


 

More Praise for Go Anyway:

"When Jim Foley was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease (PD) in 1990, he was 42 years old and he and his wife, Lyn, had just taken delivery of their dream sailboat and been on the brink of heading over the horizon. At the time, there was no cure and very little in the way of palliative medicine to treat the progressive, degenerative neurological disorder, and the doctor who made the diagnosis told the couple that Jim might only have five more years to live. The eminent neurologist then pronounced their dream of sailing away on a boat “a foolish idea.” Jim and Lyn might well have believed him except for a young intern who whispered from behind the doctor’s back, “Go anyway.”

Go Anyway is, first and foremost, a love story. There is no pretense that love can conquer a disease like Parkinson’s. But the book demonstrates how love can allow two people to live their lives with grace, courage, and strength despite it. Lyn writes about the challenges they faced with honesty and integrity and without any trace of self pity. “Jim was Jim—a healthy, alive, loving, and magnificent person. He had been thrown a ball named PD with which to play the game of life. Until the rules changed or we discovered how he could drop it, he was destined to carry the ball. However, the PD ball was not Jim; he just carried it. We would accommodate, but not surrender to, Parkinson’s.”

And they didn't surrender. They face the same challenges that all circumnavigators face: storms at sea, corrupt officials, groundings, problems with the boat. But all of these paled in significance in the face of the relentless march of the disease that Jim carried with him. At every stage they must not just assess the boat’s condition and their own willingness to continue, but PD’s relentless progression and whether or not Lyn can manage the boat as her husband becomes less and less able to do anything aboard. “By the time we arrived in Singapore, Jim was really out of steam. All of his symptoms had worsened: more tremors, more stiffness, more freezing, more difficulty walking, more difficulty talking, and more difficulty sleeping. Just functioning on a daily basis wore him out… In order to compensate for his unresponsive body, he rested more often and took things more slowly. I shouldered more and more of the physical necessities (especially the deck work) of sailing… The compensations we made worked well enough to get by on shore, at anchor, and on short harbor-hopping passages, but the big question we needed to ask, and answer truthfully, was: ‘Should or could Jim safely make the ocean passage from Japan to the United States?’ If he couldn’t, or shouldn’t, what would we do?”

This is an inspiring story about overcoming what cannot be changed and living life as fully and completely as possible. Lyn’s hard-won wisdom allows us to see that the ball we’ve been thrown, as challenging as it may be, is not us, and we, too, can carry it with spirit and integrity. We can “go anyway.”

— Beth Leonard, Sailor, Author: The Voyager's Handbook, Blue Horizons, & Following Seas