In memory of Aidan McCann
We're grateful beyond words to have crossed paths with Patrick & Denise, who decided to organize a yacht party this year to celebrate the life of their son Aidan McCann, who passed away at the age of 19 years old in 2006. He would have been 31 years old today.
The charter started just like how every other yacht party went, with a bunch of friends having a good time with great music, a lot of food, and a lot more of booze. It was awesome fun and loads of laughter and cheer, as we sailed around the Southern Islands and eventually anchored at Lazarus Beach, where some swam in the water and some basked in the sun.
But when the sun was setting over Lazarus Beach, everyone got out of the water, huddled together, as Denise handed each guest a balloon.
While 'Human' by The Killers played on the speakers, everyone released their balloons into the air at the same time, something they did every year on this day, wherever they were, to commemorate Aidan. We all watched the balloons float away into the horizon, feeling his presence in the sky.
We weren't sure about the cause of Aidan's passing at first, but later found out he was born with cystic fibrosis, and his parents were told he had a life expectancy of only 6 years. 6 led to 10, 10 led to 15, and in the blink of an eye, he was 19.
Cystic fibrosis is a progressive genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. In people diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a defective gene causes a thick, sticky buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs, leading to infections, lung damage, and eventually respiratory failure. Worldwide, more than 70,000 people are diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
Later on over dinner, Patrick and Denise shared a self-made video and stories about Aidan, how he was such a positive boy who was always encouraging people around him, how he loved Coldplay and The Killers and collecting wristbands, how he had lived such a full life traveling to 40 different countries and seeing the world, despite struggling with lung infections that could potentially lead to complications any time.
Patrick also shared with us that there's this Mexican belief that when someone passes away, he has a second life in heaven and he only really dies when people stop talking about him.
So Patrick and Denise made sure they never stopped talking about Aidan; making wristbands in his name and giving them to friends to take a photo with these wristbands whenever they are in a moment where they're having the best time of their lives; commemorating this day every year with a party to celebrate his living life to the fullest.
Thank you, Patrick, Denise, and Aidan, for allowing us to be a part of this journey, and sharing such a meaningful day with us.
These wristbands and we hope Aidan's story will be a constant reminder to all of us to live our life to the fullest, to never stop celebrating what you have (and even what you don't have), to never sweat the small stuff because there's so much more to life, and to cherish every moment and be there for our loved ones.
It's charters like these that make our daily work so much more worthwhile, so much more fulfilling.
Death is not a loss in life,
loss is what we let die inside us while we live.
Look at the stars
Look how they shine for you
And all the things that you do
In partnership with our yacht rental partner, Yachtly.