"Participating in a therapeutic
riding program was one
of the best decisions that I
have made since returning
home from four combat tours
in Iraq. Being around my
horse made me feel relaxed
and calm. He brought out
some feelings that I haven't
used much while I was in
Iraq. I felt compassion and
wanted to earn his trust.
I feel better around my horse
than any amount of medication
has made me feel."

— SGT Kenny Sunada
(Courtesy of SPUR )
Contact Us
1101 So. Miramar Ave. #303
Indialantic, Florida 32903
Phone: 732-778-9607
Sanctuary Island, Inc,.
is a 501(c)(3)
non-profit public charity

Our Mission

The mission for Sanctuary Island Inc. is to service wounded warriors, other disabled, and children facing adversity.

Our Vision

To provide a venue to enhance the health, literacy, life experience and self-esteem of wounded warriors, other disabled and children facing adversity.

Our Story

In 2006 a mother, who is also a professional nurse, asked her son Marc, a Barry University Communications graduate on disability due to cerebral palsy, to volunteer and write health teaching literature for children based on his personal experiences. He agreed and wrote a book called Peter the Peteeatrick Panda’s™ Playground. This colorful, whimsical book introduces Peter the Panda who teaches life lessons to children ages 4-12 in a positive and fun way.

The book and its companion coloring book teach literacy to children while they learn about health and life’s experiences. Marc did research for these books by reaching out to nurses and doctors, in order to provide children who read the books with a better understanding of what they are facing, and to not fear things that would most likely happen to them in a hospital setting. He created a cast of lovable characters for this professionally illustrated book and coloring book for kids to truly connect with, and respond to.

Marc followed up Peter the Peteeatrick Panda’s™ Playground with Special Person to Ride, a book for older kids and adults, that focuses on supporting and communicating with others facing a life’s challenge. This story about the amazing benefits of therapeutic horseback riding is based on Marc’s personal journey, sharing the method, the activity, and the positive results he achieved and experienced through learning the skills and successfully achieving in this special type of horseback riding.

In the Spring of 2010 Marc was an invited speaker at Emory University Medical School’s International Conference on Medical Volunteerism in Atlanta, GA. After his presentation, Dr. Neil Shulman, Associate Professor, Emory University Medical School and a partner company, Creative Solutions Inc. suggested several creative means through which Marc could support others by replicating his story. Thus the concept and ideas for Sanctuary Island Inc, were born, with its vision to service others facing adversity and special life challenges.

Therapeutic Riding for Wounded Warriors or Disabled Children

Horseback riding is a proven method of physical and mental therapy. Sanctuary Island Inc. coordinates participation in equine-related activities and therapeutic programs created specifically to support wounded and/or health-challenged war veterans, their immediate family members who also may need therapeutic assistance, and children who are disabled and/or facing adversity.

Peter the Peteeatrick Panda’s™ Playground Kids Parties

In the Peter the Peteeatrick Panda’s™ Playground Series, Peter the Panda goes through life and health experiences with his friends Jeffrey the Long-Necked Giraffe and Hoppy the Bunny. There are teaching games in the book and vocabulary exercises at the end of each chapter. The Panda Character acts out the story while the author and volunteers read, with each child having his or her own free book.

Consulting and Coaching to Create Communication Through Storytelling

We encourage those who have suffered a misfortune and have found solutions to communicate their stories with others. A Sanctuary Island specialist will consult and coach them through the journey of writing and self-publishing their story.

Sanctuary Island Inc. encourages and inspires them to support and inspire others…one story at a time!