Departed from La Trinité-sur-Mer (Brittany) on last October 8, Jean d’Artigues, a 52-year-old entrepreneur suffering from tetraplegia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, has just arrived at the Port du Marin in Fort-de-France (Martinique) on Sunday November 27. He managed to achieve his crazy challenge: crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a wheelchair onboard a 52 equipped with only the most basic of installations.
“Une transat dans un fauteuil” (literally An Atlantic crossing in a wheelchair), is both the fulfilment of Jean’s childhood dream and a way for him to raise awareness of this incurable neurodegenerative illness that he contracted five years ago and for which there is still no cure to this day.
Jean has spent eight weeks onboard the 52 Toronto along with two skippers as well as a pulmonologist doctor, a nurse and a physiotherapist. Together, they traveled about 4,400 miles (8,000 km) on water, from Brittany to Martinique by way of Portugal, Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde. Keep in mind that this beautiful journey was made possible thanks to a crowdfunding campaign.
Even after achieving the impossible, Jean d’Artigues does not intend to stop fighting against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His new objective is to raise 50,000 euros so as to help the ARSLA (association for research on ALS) enhance its actions.