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June 23, 2008 / Bo Mackison

Paddling 4 …

Paddling 4 ...

. . . the promotion of prostate cancer awareness and early treatments.

I met Skip early Saturday morning as he was preparing to shove off from the tip of Door County, Wisconsin, heading into the choppy waters of Lake Michigan. I was busy taking photographs of the lake when I noticed his kayak, loaded to the gills with equipment. I went over to see what was going on and he spoke with me about “his mission.”

He explained that a week ago, on Saturday June 14, he had pointed his kayak into Lake Michigan from the Chicago Harbor, and began a planned 54 day, 1,700 mile trip from the Midwest to the Hudson River in New York City.

Ciccarelli, a 60 year old high school teacher from Massachusetts, is a prostate cancer survivor. If all goes as planned, he will arrive in NYC on August 9 – 7 years to the day from when he had surgery for prostate cancer. He is doing the trip to raise prostate cancer awareness.

“I realized, like most men, I was clueless about prostate cancer and soon became flummoxed at how little men know about their own bodies,” Ciccarelli said. “I realized I could help raise awareness. By drawing attention to this disease, I’m hoping more men will get prostate check-ups, PSA screenings and that more research will focus on this type of cancer.”

More information on Cicarelli’s journey can be found at Any funds he raises over and above his expenses will be donated to two cancer organizations: Us TOO International and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.


  1. Chris Osborne / Jun 23 2008 7:08 am

    Nice portrait from you.

    And a great cause from him.

    Put the two together, and you’ve got some very cool stuff.

  2. gypsy-heart / Jun 23 2008 10:31 am

    I agree with Chris.

    I’ll be back to check out the link.

  3. organicsyes / Jun 23 2008 8:54 pm

    Your life if so full of amazing things…thanks for sharing this story:)

  4. nicole / Jun 24 2008 10:06 am

    What an amazing man – I keep my fingers crossed that he makes it to the day!

  5. Bernie Kasper / Jun 25 2008 12:31 am

    Great cause glad to see you posting this, hope he makes his objective !! 🙂

  6. Gandalf / Jun 25 2008 3:45 pm

    Nice photo & a great cause. Thanks for posting.

  7. Meg Costello / Jun 29 2008 5:20 am

    I teach with Skip and just spent a few days with him in Kansas City. Was he vacationig? Nope. A group of 4 students for whom he’s an advisor were competing in a National skills competition (SkillsUSA) in K.C.
    When they won the Massachusetts state competition, Skip’s plans for paddling were already made, but, thanks to a very supportive school administration, he was able to adjust the plan to include a quick flight from Milwaukee to K.C. And the punchline is…his kids earned a silver medal and Skips is back in the water somwhere in Wisconsin. How cool is that?!!

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