Our founder, Dick Drechsler's message, ever since being diagnosed with neck and throat cancer and losing his ability to eat as a result of the invasive surgery, chemo and radiation, has been to "Never Give Up Hope." After almost a decade of keeping faith that a solution would come along, following a series of laser surgeries and some additional dilation of his esophagus, for the first time Dick sat down to a meatloaf dinner. Thanks to the miracles of modern medicine and a dedicated doctor, to say the least, he is ecstatic! To all of you who visit this website, there is always hope. Never give up.

Dinesh Khatri Chhetri, MD

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica

Dr. Dinesh Chhetri graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a degree in Biochemistry. He then obtained his MD from UCLA School of Medicine, and graduated with distinction for his thesis on vocal fold paralysis and laryngeal reinnervation. He remained at UCLA for his residency training in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and followed with further training with a 2-year Fellowship in Voice, Swallowing, and Airway Disorders. He is now an Associate Professor of Head and Neck Surgery.

Dr. Chhetri’s medical practice is devoted to voice disorders, swallowing disorders, and airway (breathing) disorders. He is the director of the UCLA Swallowing Disorders Program and is co-director of the Laryngology (Voice) program. He is an NIH funded researcher in the topic of Voice Disorders. He is known nationally and internationally for his clinical and research contributions in the arenas of laryngeal physiology, voice and swallowing disorders.

The process will start on October 8, 2014 with a pre-op physical and a barium swallow test. The actual surgery starts on October 30, followed by at least two more surgeries on November 13 and December 4. The objective is to clear away the scar tissue that is blocking the entrance to Dick's esophagus and then dilate the esophagus. Absent the scar tissue, the dilation process should be permanent, or only require additional dilations at long intervals. We will keep this website updated once the process begins.


The Sail Through Cancer Foundation is advocating a Six-Point Call for Presidential Action to improve all aspects of our national response to cancer. Dick Drechsler, founding director, spoke about the Six-Point plan at the Newsmaker series before the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on May 27, 2009.

Turn on your speakers, CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON BELOW, start the video when redirected.

Dick Drechsler is donating a portion of his proceeds from his riveting new book, Manning Up In Alaska, to the Sail Through Cancer Foundation. You may now Order Manning Up In Alaska to benefit the Sail Through Cancer Foundation.



The mission is simple and straightforward. The Sail Through Cancer Foundation is an organization dedicated to providing respite and inspiration to those afflicted with cancer. Sail Through Cancer Foundation has at its core the grassroots fulfillment of its mission by a network of volunteer boat owners, skippers, and those involved in the boating community, our "Armada of Hope," that enable the Foundation to provide respite and relief in the form of a day on the water to enrich the human experience. We will also inspire those diagnosed with cancer through stories of recovery and perseverance in beating cancer and leading normal, even exceptional lives, thereafter.


The chief activity of the Foundation is to encourage boat owners to volunteer their time and the use of their boats in our Armada of Hope to enrich cancer survivors’ lives. It is the Foundation’s premise that even a brief break from the rigors of cancer treatment and recovery can have a profound effect on those afflicted, particularly children, their families, caregivers and community of friends and associates.

The fulfillment of Sail Through Cancer Foundation’s mission depends on a network of volunteer boat owners, skippers and those involved in the boating community that seek to serve people with life-threatening cancer. Volunteers in the Armada of Hope make their time and yachts available to provide a daysail for cancer survivors, while other volunteers work as fundraisers, special events organizers and in numerous other capacities.

The Foundation seeks to be self-sustaining through individual contributions, corporate donations and gifts. It receives no federal, state, or local government funding. Daysails are granted regardless of race, socioeconomic status or religious beliefs.  Referrals for daysails come from patients themselves, their family and friends, from members of the medical community and from other organizations.

Every effort is made to include the immediate family in the daysail, because the entire family is affected and afflicted when cancer strikes. It is the Foundation's vision that those affected by cancer will find inspiration and respite through its endeavors.


Dick Drechsler At The Helm of "Last Resort"Richard “Dick” Drechsler, the founder of Sail Through Cancer, has been sailing, racing and cruising for over 50 years and can currently be found cruising along the Pacific Coast between Southern California and Peru.  In 2005 Dick was diagnosed with stage three neck and throat cancer.  In short order, he went through a radical neck dissection, followed by four months of daily chemo and radiation therapy.  While his cancer seems to be cured, he was left with the inability to swallow anything but certain liquids, and survives today on a formula of liquid food.  His tenacity and determination to pursue his dream of worldwide cruising has been an inspiration to many. 

Latitude 38, August 2007Dick’s story of struggle, survival and hope in overcoming the impact of cancer struck a chord with Latitude 38 Publisher Richard Spindler.  His story about the courage and determina-tion Dick derived by clinging to his lifelong dream of cruising has been an inspiration to other sufferers. (Click here to read his article.)

Dick says that “Ever since I successfully beat neck and throat cancer in 2006 and was able to pursue my lifelong dream of worldwide cruising, it has been my goal to give moral support and relief to other cancer survivors by helping them spend a day on the water.”  

Perhaps you, a friend or loved one are suffering from cancer and are looking for a chance to escape onto the water for a brief respite. Or, maybe you own a boat or are involved in boating somehow and wish to help others. In either case, the Sail Through Cancer Foundation wants to help make connections. We are launching our initiative immediately, and our first objective is to create an armada of yachts of almost any size, both sail and power, whose owners will volunteer to provide some much-needed relief to qualified cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers by taking them out on the water for a daysail. Through networking groups, medical circles and Internet blogs, we will encourage those afflicted with cancer and their families and friends to enroll in Sailing Through Cancer Foundation’s database to be matched with a boat owner in their area.

The Sail Through Cancer Foundation is in the formative stages and is in need of volunteers.  Please follow the links to the upper left to find out how you can be a part of this worthwhile endeavor.

Thank you for your help and compassion,

Dick Drechsler

To read the Six-Point Call For Presidential Action, CLICK HERE.