Make-A-Wish child joins pirates to experience her dream of scuba diving in the Caribbean
After a successful inaugural trip from Utila, Honduras to the Laguna Beach Resort with two recipients and one returning recipient, Dive Pirates 2.0 is setting a course to Cayman Brac and the Brac Reef Beach Resort on the second of four trips this year, “Conquering New Territory.”
This year’s recipients include Retired Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Rivera, USMC. Rivera served more than 8 years as a Marine, with multiple deployments. On a mission to search out sites where US troops were being ambushed, he and his team suffered the same fate, however his quick thinking leadership gave his team a fighting chance, all returning back alive. Ryan suffered a gunshot wound to the neck, causing a spinal cord injury causing incomplete quadriplegia.
Rivera will join three other injured veterans, four other recipients with disabilities, and a teenager whose wish was to scuba dive with her family in the Caribbean after losing her leg to an aggressive cancer.
“We were pleasantly surprised when we were contacted by Make-A-Wish® Georgia, looking for a way to grant their wish child’s request with a group of people familiar with diving with individuals that have different abilities,” said Susan DeVore, Executive Director of the Dive Pirates Foundation. “It adds to our growing community, such a diverse group of age, life experience, abilities that many of our recipients have told us is one of the strongest virtues of our crew… rich in diversity with an uncontrollable urge to have fun and support each other, the more the merrier. “
Returning recipients Retired Captain Marlene Krpata and Retired Corporal Sean Barr, USMC, Retired Sgt. Nathan Gonzalez, USMC, along with Dive Pirate Board Member Dr. Mark Frederickson make for a total of 13 disabled divers on the trip, accompanied by Classified Buddies, instructors and other friends and family that will once again fill the whole resort for a week of diving and pirate skullduggery that is sure to be a life altering adventure. Follow the fun next week on the Dive Pirates Facebook page.
Dive Pirates Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing scuba diving to persons with disabilities and joining them with mainstream divers. Its vision is to create a community of adaptive divers that will dive and travel in the mainstream world of scuba diving through education and overcoming obstacles. For more information about the foundation go to www.divepirates.org.