August 29, 2002, Thursday
South Wales Echo
BACK ON BOARD Robert Dominy. ROBERT Dominy spent more than a decade working at sea but he had to give up his dream job when diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. But thanks to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Robert has the chance to get back on board and sail off into the wide blue yonder - at least for a week.
The 43-year-old, from Ely, Cardiff, is taking the Multiple Challenge and joins five other crew members, made up of an experienced skipper and first mate, and three fellow MS sufferers, on board a 37ft yacht.
Robert and his shipmates sail from Liverpool today, stopping in Holyhead, Pwllheli, Aberdovey, Skomer Island and Swansea. The trip is one of a 20-leg, 6,000-mile journey.
Sailing into Holyhead will be like a homecoming for Robert, who worked there for 11 years as both a civilian and RAF deckhand.
But 10 years ago doctors told him he had MS, a tissue disorder which interferes with messages from the brain.
"I had to stop working on boats because in the eyes of the Merchant Navy I'm medically unfit for sea," explained Robert, whose legs and balance have been affect-ed by the disease.
"I can go on boats but I can't work for a living because I would be a hazard to other crewmen and myself, as much as I love it."
The trip, Robert's second, allows him to taste the high seas once again and meet other MS sufferers.
"It's brilliant because you're treated as a normal person'. On the Multiple Challenge website it says I do it today because I can'. That's very poignant," he said.
For more information about multiple sclerosis visit http://www.mssociety.
org.uk or call 0808 800 8000.
© Copyright 2002 Western Mail and Echo Ltd