The History of

Healing Winds Vermont
Our History

Healing Winds Vermont was launched by Suzanne Johnson in 2014, four years after her diagnosis of stage 2 breast cancer. After a courageous battle with cancer, she wanted to find a way to give back to cancer patients and make a difference in people’s lives.

Through her friends and family’s encouragement, she founded Respite Sailing for Cancer, Inc. dba Healing Winds Vermont. In this organization, she could utilize her love and expertise of sailing. Before her diagnosis, she worked as a realtor and restaurateur amongst her varied careers.

Grit, determination, and the universe opening doors before her were all Suzanne needed. Within the year, a 28-foot O’Day sailboat called Jubilee was gifted from an acquaintance who was dying of cancer. She formed a Board of Directors, engaged volunteers, and began scheduling sailing excursions for those who have cancer, together with their loved ones.

Today, Healing Winds Vermont is committed to continuing the legacy of our founder by serving those who battle cancer, one sail at a time. As we grow and flourish, we are exploring ways to expand our mission by offering even more resources for health and wellness support, under the leadership of Executive Director Sylvia Oblak.


Sailing Seasons

Number of Sails


HWVT Donations


All of our sails are provided FREE OF CHARGE. It is through the generosity of donors both individual and corporate that this is possible.

HWVT Nominate


Give the gift of a three-hour FREE sailing excursion for someone who is currently challenged with cancer treatments and their loved ones.

HWVT Donate


The dedication of our volunteers is an integral part of Healing Winds’ success. We welcome individuals who have a passion for giving back