Alumna Finds Support and Healing on Cruise Ship

Alumna Megan Mathie working glass aboard the Solstice cruise ship

Fine Arts alumna Megan Mathie (CCAD 2006) spent her summer traveling the globe upon the Celebrity Cruise ship Solstice as a glassblower—cool gig right? We wrote part of her story in the fall IMAGE magazine, but there was just so much more to share that we decided to take a more in-depth look here.

The Solstice cruise ship has 1,250 crew members coming from 70 countries. The sheer number of employees may seem daunting to some, but aboard this ship Mathie was able to find a new family and the support she needed at a critical time.

Her decision to work aboard the ship as a member of the hot glass show team was a difficult one. She had worked on a cruise ship before, but this time she would be leaving her mother and sister who were both battling breast cancer.

One of the pieces Mathie created for the Pink Glass Show

“I don't know a better way to say this, but cancer has made me feel my feelings really hard," Mathie said. "I can go from feeling deep worry to intense artistic stimulation to loneliness to pure peace and joy. I am so fortunate to have managed to find myself surrounded by kindness and love where I never expected it. Being able to take this job, this opportunity, has turned into so much more of a gift than I thought it would be, and a big part of that is the people I’ve gotten to know.”

Although it was difficult for Mathie to leave her family behind, the Celebrity Cruise line provided her a productive way to help with the cause and funnel her artistic energy. The line has a partnership with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Each voyage holds special events to help raise awareness and support for the cause, including special cocktail offers, auctions, and dances. Mathie and the other members of the hot glass show put on a “Pink Show” once per cruise.

For this special show, the glassblowers make all their glass creations pink. They then auction the pieces, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Foundation Research Foundation.

Mathie was also recently granted a special recognition of her work aboard the ship and her passion for the breast cancer cause. She was named the godmother of a ship—one of the highest honors in maritime tradition.

Mathie and three other women affected by breast cancer were honored in a ceremony on Dec. 1 during which they christened a ship, Celebrity Reflection.

"These impressive women personify the qualities we admire among our Solstice Class Godmothers: remarkable strength and courage, along with optimism, warmth and genuine care for others," said Michael Bayley, Celebrity's president and CEO. "They beautifully represent countless other women within our company and around the world who have battled the disease or support the cause in honor of friends or family who have done so."

To read Mathie’s blog, click here.