Hogs on the High Seas

October 27 2009

Where it all began

Like most seasoned riders, Dean and Debbie have been to the BIG rallies several times. They still loved the events but they felt their hobby was becoming stressful, expensive and even boring. Something had to change.

They decided to offer a completely new rally alternative. An event that would breathe new life, fun, and adventure into the word “rally”. One of the largest cruise ships in the world had everything they were looking for. One set price, great weather (usually 80 – 85 degrees) and if it rains, the option to stay inside the floating city and wake up the next day 300-480 miles away.

For many it will be the adventure of a lifetime, for others their first glimpse of the Caribbean, for everyone the most fun you have ever had at a rally. Big business has taken over the rallies. Rooms, vendor space, food, parking, everything is double or triple the price it was the week before the rally. This will be the least expensive seven-day rally.

In Dean and Debbie’s words…

There are hundreds of charities worth donating your time, effort, and money to. We knew from the beginning our small contributions to other major charities would be absorbed in the cost of daily operations. We also realized we could not cure a long standing disease or medical condition. We wanted to choose a charity that received very little attention, funding and medical advances. We wanted to see fast results and wanted our passengers contributing the funds to see the results as well. The key word is SEE.

Our cause is kidney dialysis for several reasons. Unlike other diseases, there is NO cure for kidney failure, unless a rare perfect kidney donation is received. To prolong the patient’s life a few more years they must be tethered to a machine that cleans the entire blood supply. Dialysis also robs them of their strength and finances. A patient must undergo dialysis every 2 to 3 days just to stay alive. This restraint leaves them very little or no opportunity to travel.

Our goal was to provide an opportunity for motorcycle enthusiasts or their friends on dialysis to attend our HOHS (Hogs on the High Seas) rallies. We want to give the patient a chance to travel, spend some valuable time socializing with a couple thousand new friends and hopefully having the time of their lives.

We discovered there were a few medical companies that provided kidney dialysis aboard cruise ships and whether at sea or land it is costly, to the tune of upwards of $10,000. We contracted the services of Dialysis at Sea, to provide the Dialysis services to our HOHS Rally passengers.

Most insurance companies will reimburse the dialysis patient after the cruise, but the patient has to pay the total cost of the treatments upfront. However, we were stunned to discover that uninsured military vets and Medicare patients didn’t qualify for re-imbursement through the Veterans Administration or Medicare for receiving the very same treatments they would receive at their home dialysis treatment centers. We couldn’t stand for that…Plan B.

In 2003, we announced our dialysis patient charity idea at our first Annual Hogs on the High Seas Rally. Response was overwhelming. Eight hundred and five rally participants contributed $8,270.00 to help meet the contracted price of the dialysis treatment company. We paid the balance of $10,000. which did not pay for the treatments that cost, $495.00 per visit, with usually three treatments per week, per patient. This also did not cover the cost of the cabins, which were $2,500 each.

At our 2004 Western Caribbean Rally, our 1367 rally participants contributed $31,771.00. Enough to pay for the dialysis staff, equipment rental, etc. ($10,000) plus treatments for all 14 dialysis patients and half the cost of their balcony cabins.

In 2005, our Alaska rally passengers donated over $16,000 to our Dialysis fund and our Western Caribbean passengers donated over $68,000 toward helping make our Dialysis patients vacations a reality.

Our Alaska 2006 Rally passengers donated another $18,084.82 and our 2006 Western Caribbean Rally had 1500 passengers who entered the games and most generously donated back a portion of their cash winnings, raising over $110,000. Now we could also pay for their airfare from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada plus give each dialysis passenger $400 spending money during the cruise.

During our 2007 Western Caribbean Rally, with nearly 1,750 rally passengers we raised a phenomenal $182,895 for the Kidney Dialysis Fund from a Poker Walk, 50/50, Tattoo Contest, (10) Raffle Cabins, HOHS Auction, Bike Raffle, and generous cash winners who gave back a portion of their winnings. That’s an average of over $100 per passenger. During those events our passengers had great odds of winning over $302,000 in cash and prizes.

Our 1st Mexican Riviera Rally in 2008 had 1,000 rally passengers who raised a total of $90,608.00 for the HOHS Dialysis Fund followed by our 2008 Western Caribbean Rally with 1,565 rally passengers onboard that raised $120,339.48 and gave our largest dialysis group yet (16) another great vacation.

Earlier this year our 2009 Mexican Riviera Rally raised a total of $54,242.00 with the November 2009 cruise being almost sold out.

To Qualify As A Dialysis Passenger For Our Rally:

  • You must currently be receiving hemodialysis treatment.
  • You must be a motorcycle enthusiast. If you no longer ride because of your medical condition, a past picture of you on a motorcycle or copy of an old motorcycle registration card with your name on it may be required.
  • If you have not, nor have ever been, a motorcycle enthusiast you must have a friend or relative that is and they must provide the same proof as above.
  • If you meet the above qualifications, call us by phone at 1-800-444-8795 to register as a dialysis patient.

If accepted as a patient the HOHS Dialysis fund will pay

  • Each patient’s dialysis treatments, which are $ 550.00 per treatment. An average of $ 1,650.00 per patient per week.
  • Each dialysis patient’s half of a E1 deluxe category balcony stateroom Average price is $1,300.00 in the Caribbean or equivalent amount toward another cabin category of your choice. Balcony cabin pricing may very depending on the HOHS rally you are attending.
  • Dialysis patient’s airfare if flying, from anywhere within the continental U.S. and Canada.
  • On-Board medical staff and equipment, which costs $10,000.
  • The HOHS Dialysis fund will also pay $400.00 toward shore excursions of your choice.
  • That’s an average of over $4,050.00 per patient to ensure you have a vacation of a lifetime.

If accepted as a patient you will be responsible for the following:

  • Each Dialysis patient is responsible for a second person (caregiver) in the cabin at an average cost of $ 1,300.00
  • Travel and trip cancellation insurance. Average cost of $130.00
  • Transportation cost to the ship for the second person in your cabin.

You must book your cruise through Hogs on the High Seas.

Treatment and medical information will be done in conjunction with Dialysis at Sea.




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