A woman born with a hole in her heart is to take on an adventure of a lifetime.
Sailor Tineke Dixon, from Exmouth in Devon, has battled serious health problems undergoing multiple transplants and is joining a 46-day tall ship expedition in the Southern Hemisphere.
The 46-year-old spent much of her childhood battling severe illness and relied on the use of a wheelchair with doctors unable to help her.
With medical advancement Ms Dixon underwent a heart and lung transplant in 1988 and 10 years later underwent a kidney transplant, which was donated by her mother.
Since then she has made the most of her much-improved health and developed a passion for sailing as well as spending time helping charities close to her heart.
Ms Dixon works as a programme manager for the South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust.
I used to be quite an adventurous person but sometimes the more mundane things in life take over.
With the 30-year anniversary since my first transplant on the horizon I felt a bit of wanderlust setting in.
With my love of sailing and desire to help the charities who helped me so much I felt the need to reaffirm a few things and go completely overboard.
Ms Dixon will be sailing on Tenacious, the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s tall ship, and will travel 5,200 nautical miles over 46 days after leaving Auckland on 11 January.
The crew, which is made up of able bodied and disabled sailors, will sail through the Southern Ocean around Cape Horn and will complete the trip when they arrive at the Falkland Islands.
I want the world to know how fantastic transplantation is. In the early days it was a bit experimental, but now donating an organ can be donating a lifetime, even more valuable than back then.
I have never been at sea for such a long period of time and I won’t have met any of the other crew until I see them on the deck in Auckland.
She is hoping to raise £5,200 – a pound for every nautical mile of the trip – for three charities….
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