Bahamian paratriathlete to serve as godmother for Odyssey of the Seas

Erin Brown, a Bahamian paratriathlete who lost a leg to cancer, has been named godmother of Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, the Odyssey of the Seas.

Brown, a 41-year-old mother of two who competes internationally, will bless the Odyssey at its naming ceremony in Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 13. She will be the first Bahamian godmother of a Royal Caribbean ship.

“From the moment we heard Erin’s story, how her courage and determination inspired others and led to a more inclusive consciousness about succeeding with disabilities, we were moved and knew she was a natural choice for godmother of our newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas,” Michael Bayley, CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said in a statement.

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During her time as a collegiate track and field athlete, Brown was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma after suffering a fall that resulted in a broken leg. After more than a year of chemotherapy, her tumor showed no signs of shrinking, and she made the decision to amputate her limb above the knee. She said her disability became a signal to start over, and she went on to become an advocate for rights for the disabled. She works at the University of the Bahamas as the compliance officer and counselor for those living with physical disabilities and also continues to compete as a paratriathlete.

“A sudden change like the one I experienced is just an opportunity to rebrand yourself to yourself and to society,” Brown said. “All those skills you had before — you still have them.”

Bayley said the choice was also a way to pay tribute to the Bahamas, “Royal Caribbean’s very first international destination more than 50 years ago. To this day, Nassau remains one of our most popular ports of call, and our private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, remains a top pick for our guests. We are excited about this ceremony and honoring our longtime partners as well as the newest Bahamian-flagged ship in our fleet.”

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