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Sail Beyond Cancer VT Provides TRANQUILITY to cancer patients

07/01/2023 10:16AM ● By SUZANNE SNYDER

“This is a life-extending opportunity.” These are the words of South Burlington resident Steve Milizia, a cancer warrior whose current treatments are so toxic and radioactive that he must remain isolated for 48 hours following each session.

The restorative moments that perpetually lift up Milizia and his family are memories
of sailing with 
Sail Beyond Cancer Vermont  (SBC VT), whose community-based mission on Lake Champlain honors those challenged by cancer by harnessing the healing powers of wind, water, and sail.

Wind in the sails. 

Honoring someone you love. 


Local resident and cancer survivor, Captain Suzanne Snyder, founded the organization. This season, Sail Beyond Cancer has acquired a dedicated vessel, Tranquility, a 42-foot 1996 Catalina that is led by local volunteer captains and crews.

Anyone undergoing treatment for cancer has the opportunity to sail with up to six members of their family and/or friends for a three-hour sail on Lake Champlain.


“It’s the silence... that moment when the engine goes off. It’s magical,” said Vincent Hampson, of Colchester, Vermont, a cancer survivor who has undergone more than 65 chemo treatments.

“Tranquility is the perfect boat for our organization. She sails steady and beautifully— even in strong winds,” said SBC VT board member Richard Schattman. “She has a huge cockpit and an entrance in her stern for easy access. The community has welcomed and rallied around her.”

 Celebrating special times together under sail.

The perfectly named Tranquility resides on a slip at the Boathouse Marina, just below Echo on the waterfront in Burlington.


To sign up for a sail, go to the the Sail Beyond Cancer VT's website and nominate someone who is undergoing treatment. The organization will reach out to set up a time and date. And yes, you can nominate yourself!

For the past two years, SBC VT also added memorial sails to celebrate and honor the lives of those who have passed away from cancer.

 Feeling the wind and the waves. 

“We have over 150 nominations this season. Our goal is to realize each and every one
of them. Because we know, based upon the responses of those who have sailed, that we are
making a difference in the lives of those who need and seek revitalizing and empowering experiences,” Snyder said.

“We know that to step away from the dock and feel a 20-ton boat being pulled forward by the elements, to put the helm in hand and feel the tension and power as the vessel holds course, to sit in the middle of the broad part of the lake as the sun sets with family and friends, away from all the financial and medical complications associated with living with cancer, is healing,” she said.


When you think of Vermont, perhaps your mind immediately goes to mountains, skiing, maple syrup, cheese, and maybe local breweries. But at Best of Burlington, when we think of Vermont, the first word that comes to mind is “community.” These are the people who come together and think beyond themselves in the service of others.

Sail Beyond Cancer VT is a perfect example of the sailing community of Lake Champlain uniting to provide transformative and memorable experiences for those who need a respite that creates resilience and fosters inner strength for the journey ahead.

If you would like to nominate yourself or another individual and/or become a member of the SBC VT volunteer crew, visit the website today.


Sail Beyond Cancer VT

PO Box 4068 

Burlington, VT 

(802) 825-WIND (9463) 

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