Why do it?
When my brother Mike passed away aged 51, I felt a sense of loss and disorientation. It wasn’t just losing a brother, it was also about the realisation that things will never be the same. Work, family and sports were all great, but I felt a need to do something special. I also wanted to repay the people who had helped my brother in his final weeks.
Purely by accident, I stumbled across ocean rowing while looking for a programme to improve my German. The programme featured the Swiss Motion team who rowed nearly 5,000km across the Atlantic Ocean on an eight-metre by 1.5-metre boat while competing in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. I was instantly hooked. They may not know it, but they have inspired me to take on this challenge.
Rowing an ocean is an incredible physical challenge, and an even more arduous mental challenge. It’s probably the biggest, hardest, and most difficult thing I will ever attempt. I'm also doing this for those who can't.
I'm rowing the Atlantic as a fitting way to honour my brother’s life while making sure I achieve something in mine, something that can help others even if in a very small way. Something of which my brother would be proud.
These are the organisations I would like to help and the reasons why:
My brother, Mike Chetcuti (Cuti)
Hospice (Malta) assisted my brother for the last months of his life and made his life as comfortable as possible. For many of the Hospice people who came to visit him, it was obvious that it was more than a job – many treated him like he was their brother, father, or friend.
Like millions of others, Mike died of cancer. For this reason, I want to help raise funds for the Swiss Cancer League. Any funds will help them find a cure for this disease, and help people battling the disease.
My appeal to anyone reading this is to donate as much or as little as you can. If you feel more comfortable, please donate to similar charities in your country.
The third organisation is Terre des hommes, a Swiss NGO dedicated to helping and protecting children in need for more than half a century. I chose this organisation because I cannot bear seeing a child being hurt, abused, killed or made to suffer in any way. Terre des hommes headquarters are located in Switzerland and it operates in more than 40 countries around the world.
You can help the project I have chosen, or one of your own. You can also make sure you act the next time you see a child being harmed – whether it is by a neighbour or a stranger, in your home country or far away.