Mark Paarman | Sailing The World With Only 6 Months to Live – Sail+Leisure
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Mark Paarman | Sailing The World With Only 6 Months to Live

by Ingrid Hale
Sailing with just 6 months to live
Away from his wife and diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, he was given just 6 months to live. He desperately needed his medicine, which is not covered by insurance. On hearing his story, Nikki and Jason set out to raise awareness of his plight to try and lobby the pharmaceutical company to assist him. And guess what? It worked!

Nikki’s blog posts tell the story and shed light on this inspiring journey – make sure you watch and read till the end, it’s a happy ending!

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.

mark paarman most inspirational man

Isn’t it ironic?

Mark is stuck in Fiji, his wife is stuck in South Africa. Borders are closed, and options are painfully limited and even if a repatriation flight was 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 to Fiji, and where do they sail away after they buy it?

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!

Our call to 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 30 day 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.

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.

More about Mark Paarman

Update: The power of community can move mountains

We asked you to help us make a ruckus, so a dying man could get home to his wife.  This is the story of how you came through and together we managed to get the attention of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.  Way to go, crew, way to go!

Never underestimate the power of:

  • Community
  • Vulnerability
  • Asking

Thank you so much for your encouragement, support and help!  It takes a village and we couldn’t have made an impact without you.  We’re beaming with gratitude!

Progress has been made but, we’re not done yet…not until Mark has a supply of medication in hand and a guarantee of more on the way.  We’ll continue to follow up with Mark and keep you in the loop.

Words, images and videos by Nikki and Jason from Gone with the Wynns.

Follow the Wynns on Instagram.

[Watch: Sailing the world with 6 months to live ]

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