September 2018

    Segelrebellen – Fighting Cancer Together, Chasing Freedom on a Sailboat

    Segelrebellen or “Sailingrebels” is not a group of pirates or revolutionaries, as the name might suggest. Rather, Segelrebellen is a group of young people who have been affected by cancer and rebel against the disease by pushing their limits on the ocean.

    When a disease like cancer threatens your life, you might feel paralyzed by fear. Segelrebellen says no to the fear and joins forces to fight cancer together. They want to feel alive, again. How? Well, these brave people have chosen the hard way! Sailing away from the pain, they will challenge themselves by sailing from Germany to Bear Island and back.

    The Segelrebellen will sail away from hospital rooms and radiation treatments. Instead, they’ll focus on a new, different challenge. By embarking on this venture, they can connect with a supportive and understanding group while working towards something completely new.

    They may simply want to live a normal life, but what they are doing is extraordinary. Sailing through the Arctic Ocean is not for everybody, heathy or not. And for those who suffer from a serious illness, it would be especially tough.

    The Arctic Cancer Challenge is only one of many trips that Segelrebellen organizes, and it’s one of the most challenging. So, why would people who’ve already faced so many overwhelming challenges sail out to the freezing Arctic for 90 days? Why would some inexperienced sailors face 5,000 sea miles of harsh conditions, freezing rain, implacable winds and enormous waves?

    Well, why not?


    Segelrebellen-chasing freedom on a sailboat

    Freezing in the Arctic Ocean – but in good company! Picture: Dennis Dörr


    It‘s hard to smile in a hospital, surrounded by concerned doctors and worried family. Bleach, disinfectants, and fluorescent lighting don’t create an atmosphere for freedom and joy. It´s much easier to laugh when you can smell the salty ocean and you can feel the ocean breeze on your face. It´s easier to feel alive when you´re only surrounded by the sound of pounding waves instead of beeping machines.

    Even if they don’t get stuck in the Doldrums, these survivors will have to face problems with the boat or other unexpected obstacles along the way. It will still be a new, crazy, and joyful adventure.


    Arctic Cancer Challenge, the rebellious sailing

    Big waves won´t stop us! Picture: Dennis Dörr

    “Sailing rebels take the chance, to glimpse behind the horizon instead of remaining in so called daily life safety.
    They prefer to discover the sea and themselves to gain new strength, than to stay calm and passive.”



    Segelrebellen was founded by Marc Neumann, who survived two tumor diagnoses while he was studying journalism at university. After he successfully completed chemotherapy, he decided to go as far away from land as possible. Even though he was weakened by the chemotherapy, he proved to himself that he was still capable of anything. Away from hospitals, away from everything, he came back to life on a sailing boat. He came back to be himself before the illness.

    Therefore, he decided to offer the same possibility to adventurous souls like himself – he bought a boat, and he founded Segelrebellen.


    Segelrebellen all set to sail from Germany to Bear Island

    Segelrebellen set sail to Bear Island. Picture: Dennis Dörr


    We are inspired by the courage and the love for life of the Segelrebellen! Whatever your motivation, adventures and experiences are what make life rich. Sure, any challenge can be scary, but it would surprise you . . . what you´re capable of accomplishing! By experiencing new adventures you can push your limits further and develop yourself into a more fulfilled person.

    This story inspired me to take the oath to say yes to my next adventure and feel alive!

    And you?