Stephanie Colotti Ferrie arrived dwelling from a lengthy run with a wild notion various decades in the past.
She reported to her partner, ‘We should really invest in a boat and sail the earth and homeschool our youngsters.’
“I said, ‘You’re freaking nuts. No a single does that,’” Kevin Ferrie reported. “She starts off pinging me on texts and messenger all these family members who are undertaking this.”
Colotti Ferrie place those dreams on maintain at to start with when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2015.
But just after a radical hysterectomy, 28 rounds of radiation, and 5 weeks of chemotherapy, she was additional determined than at any time.
In September 2018, Stephanie, Kevin, their 3 girls, a single boy and two dogs remaining Portland Harbor and established sail on their fantastic journey.
Colotti Ferrie, who put in two years sailing with her family members and documented their journey on her weblog, Reside the Voyage, died April 17 next a reoccurrence of cancer. She was 43.
On the working day she died, her partner penned a poignant tribute to his spouse, calling their conclusion to live on a boat and cruise the Caribbean “a acutely aware alternative to stay with conviction and choose time to love life’s very simple pleasures.”
“Steph has lived her voyage and has found all she desires to see on this earth,” he wrote. “This morning just in advance of 6 a.m., she set sail towards warm waters, truthful winds, and gorgeous sunsets. It was a brutal, unfair fight a person even the toughest girl I know couldn’t get over. Sail on my enjoy. Stand the look at you had been born to do, and I will see you on the other side. You gave your kids ample like for a lifetime. I will make confident they often know that.”
Colotti Ferrie was a loving and fierce supporter of her children: Mairead, 16 Lilah, 14 Clara, 12 and Callum, 11. She homeschooled her children for 8 years. She took her children snowboarding when it snowed, and to the beach front to swim and investigate when it was hot. Her husband stated she needed them to reside and not just sit in classrooms. He stated the youngsters would attend college for audio class, health club or specific plans and then go household.
“They had been the luckiest young children,” he said before this month. “She was devoted. All she ever desired was to be a mom, really. Which is the hardest element in all this. In the a few weeks that she’s been gone, my daughter got her driver’s license. We purchased a next residence in Bethel to ski due to the fact that was another of Steph’s dreams. Callum is actively playing Small League now and she missed his to start with at-bat. That is the stuff that seriously stinks.”
No just one would have cherished all those times extra.
When Clara was 4 several years old and fairly shy, she took a ballet class, Kevin Ferrie stated, choking up. All through a rehearsal, her sister Mairead got on stage with her. At the recital, Clara carried an oversized teddy bear on to the phase and hid powering it all through her overall performance, he claimed.
“One of the mothers explained, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry for what transpired to Clara.’ Steph said, ‘Sorry? That is the proudest moment I’ve at any time experienced for my child. She received on that stage.’”
“Stephanie was steadfast that each and every little one develops on their individual time,” Ferrie mentioned. “She understood her child.”
When Callum was born, he had PPHN, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, a issue in which a toddler may well not get sufficient oxygen soon after beginning. Colotti Ferrie, who was a labor and delivery nurse, stayed with him for 11 times in the healthcare facility and insisted that she be there to breastfeed him.
“He experienced a miraculous recovery,” her partner mentioned.
“Stephanie elevated her young children to be impartial and powerful willed,” Lilah wrote in her mother’s obituary. “Her young children will without end miss out on her and will use the know-how and knowledge she gave us to live a life we want and really like.”
Colotti Ferrie was an avid runner and triathlete, who competed in many Tri for a Cure Maine women’s triathlons. In June 2016, about 3 months right after ending a grueling cancer cure regimen, she ran the Maine Most cancers Foundation’s Twilight 5K. The next thirty day period, she completed the Tri for a Remedy.
“The swim was rough. The bike was soaked. The operate was wetter. But chemo and radiation ended up harder,” she wrote on Facebook. “I crossed the finish line sensation strong with the really like and help of household and mates alongside the way, the correct identical way I finished remedy for cervical cancer. I’m so fortunate to be alive and feeling excellent.”
This yr, Mairead is competing in the Tri for a Overcome in her mother’s memory.
Colotti Ferrie had HPV-related cervical most cancers and was an outspoken advocate for the HPV vaccine. She shared her practical experience in a 2017 WMTW news tale, in which she urged men and women to get the vaccine.
“HPV does not discriminate,” she explained in the interview. “It’s out there, and a lot of persons have it and don’t know it. I was a person of these. … I didn’t notice I had HPV till it was much too late.”
Colotti Ferrie beloved the ocean and sailing. Her husband stated after her cancer procedure, she felt the urgency of dwelling out her dream. He had retired from the Coast Guard in 2015 and gave up his career as manager of a marine import/export terminal.
“She was a doer and I’m a dreamer,” he claimed. “She stated, ‘We need to have to do this.’ I explained, ‘I’ll guidance you on your endeavor.’”
The few bought a 44-foot Jeanneau sailboat named Serendipity. They rented out their household in Scarborough and sailed out of Portland Harbor in September 2018. Their early journey included stops all along the East Coastline.
On the site, Colotti Ferrie chronicled their stops, describing, for occasion, how they visited New York Town and noticed Times Square, the Museum of Purely natural Historical past, and the Statue of Liberty.
“What NYC did for us is reiterate a large motive why we have determined to ‘escape the rat race,’” she wrote. “Cruising for us is not just about touring and ‘seeing the world’ but acquiring away from the commercialism that feeds the American society. … You really don’t want issues to make you happy. We have an extreme need to link with some others on a additional personal degree, to acquire time to master about new cultures and the world around us, with no spending $34 to go to the leading of a setting up, or to take in highly-priced M&Ms just since they are in a preferred city.”
“She really wished to reside a life by design and style,” her husband claimed. “She didn’t believe that in the rat race.”
Sailing, he claimed, “There’s no Target. There is no distractions. Lifetime is raw. … We fulfilled close friends all more than the entire world.”
The household sailed throughout the Caribbean and explored the islands of Grenada and Curaçao. The kids fished and went diving and checking out. In Oct 2019, Colotti Ferrie and her daughters turned qualified PADI open water divers. The little ones uncovered new cultures and participated in the Grenada carnival.
“As we journey, our children are turning out to be knowledgeable sailors, navigators, scientists, explorers, swimmers, snorkelers, hikers, cooks, bakers, fishermen, no cost divers, and the listing could go on,” wrote Colotti Ferrie. “You see, our little ones may well not have star soccer player or swimmer on their superior school resume, but they’ll hopefully have a myriad of other wonderful daily life competencies they can share with their buddies and family members as they increase outdated. Stories and experiences to share for a lifetime. ”
The Ferries sailed household to Portland in June 2020 and expended that summer cruising all around Acadia. They had plans to take off once again before long to the Bahamas. But a number of days after arriving in Portland, Colotti Ferrie went to the unexpected emergency room at Maine Medical Center, where she discovered that her cancer experienced returned. Medical doctors identified a brain tumor and spots on her lungs. She acquired chemo and radiation but experienced setbacks.
She died at the Gosnell Hospice Home with her partner and parents by her facet.
In September 2020, she wrote to these taking into consideration performing anything wild and ridiculous in daily life, “Don’t wait around. Do it now. I am so happy we did. We do not know what the long term retains for our family and neither do you.”
The obituary prepared by her family members finishes this way: “In lieu of flowers, Stephanie would talk to that you quit building excuses, and get out and reside the lifestyle you think about. Go dwell your voyage.”