My Brother’s Keeper

When Simon Osborne says he didn’t really know what he was getting into when he decided to circumnavigate the United Kingdom, he means it. That the 26-year-old had never actually sea kayaked before only accentuated the urgent need for instruction from renowned kayaker Nigel Dennis. “Fortunately, he didn’t tell me to just go home and think about what I wanted to do with my life,” Osborne said.

Osborne was driven to complete the grueling 3,000-mile journey to raise funds (22,000 pounds) for leukemia research and in memory of his brother, Mark. Two years later, Osborne circumnavigated Ireland, a 900-mile travail that raised 30,000 pounds for leukemia research.

Osborne spoke about his enormous challenges both on and off the water before a packed theater at last fall’s West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium. He received a standing ovation. “I never expected that,” he said. “It blew my mind away.”

Read other potraits

Nigel Foster

Justine Curgenven

Shawna Franklin and Leon Somme