Hope floats

It took a life-threatening stroke for Jim Baker, 64, of Edina, to fulfill his dream of building a wooden boat. The project took the mechanical engineer two years, but with the encouragement of his family, and the help of his caregiver, Greg Schaffner, he built the small-kit boat. Baker, right, and Schaffner, who works for Right at Home in-home care service, recently launched the boat in Lake Harriet on its maiden voyage. Dubbed Therapy for how it helped Baker progress from his stroke, the new boat stood the test. More than 30 friends and family were there to witness the launch. "It was unbelievable. I honestly cried," said Baker's wife, Barb. "It's pretty amazing where he has come from. What he's achieved. And that the boat actually floats."

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