Captain Sandy Yawn got a lot of good news this week, both in her personal and professional life. First, long-time Below Deck Mediterranean nemesis and uninspired chief stew Hannah Ferrier announced that she would not be returning to the series. Then, the Season 5 premiere brought in the highest viewing numbers for a premiere in Below Deck history. Maybe the first piece of news had something to do with the other.
But the best development of this first week in June is that Sandy’s love Leah Shafer is still cancer-free. After announcing her health struggles in September, Leah had gotten a lumpectomy in October to remove a high-risk growth. At the time Leah explained that, “this is what I have: LCIS lobular carcinoma rapid cell growth. So I chose lumpectomy To remove the area of disease/concerned area so it didn’t even have a chance to develop into anything more. LCIS is not considered breast cancer. But it can!! And quickly. It’s early signs of breast cancer.”
Captain Sandy Yawn never knows what she might face each week on Below Deck Mediterranean–a questionable chef like Mila Kolomeitseva, rogue stews like June Foster, inclement weather or a fire when she is trying to dock. She has to demonstrate patience, strength, courage and optimism despite what is going on around her.
Those traits are characteristics I am sure Sandy has been calling on lately as she is supporting her girlfriend, gospel singer Leah Shafer, through a difficult health battle. Sandy announced via social media in late August that Leah had been diagnosed with what seemed to be breast cancer. At the time, Sandy revealed that Leah had chosen to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction. Recently, both of them shared health updates for Leah via social media.
Captain Sandy Yawn has faced many challenges in her time as a Captain on Below Deck Mediterranean. Unruly guests. Unpredictable weather. A chef who considered canned food haute cuisine. Crew members who sometimes want to do anything but the job they were hired on to do. Being away from home for weeks at a time might be the most difficult part of her job, however.
Despite her hectic schedule, Sandy shared with her fans earlier this year that she had found love. Sandy met gospel singer Leah Shafer on Facebook and the two quickly became a couple. Since then, Sandy’s Instagram has been filled with photos of the two looking very happy together. Sandy even moved to Denver to be with Leah. Sadly, Sandy has announced that the couple is now facing a major challenge in their life–Leah has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Fans have watched Captain Sandy Yawn navigate through the rough seas of boat flings with her crew on Below Deck Mediterranean. It was not the epitome of courtship when Hannah Ferrier whined about cigs to Conrad Empson. The same applies to Malia White and her non-Harlequin romance with
onion lover Chef Adam Glick and/or the deck crew. Being crammed together like sardines on a yacht often leads to the occasional dalliance, but is rarely a long-lasting event.
But what about the Captain? Extensive traveling and time away from her home base has proven to be a challenge in Sandy’s own personal life. She has previously discussed the difficulty of maintaining a relationship whilst being in a career where you aren’t just in separate time zones, you can be clear across the world. Well, you can start humming The Love Boat theme song along with me, because things have changed.