Young cancer survivors get front row seats to Extreme Sailing Series Cardiff

Six young people in recovery from cancer will get front row seats to the thrilling Extreme Sailing Series as they are welcomed to Cardiff Bay at the end of the latest leg of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s epic four-month Round Britain 2017 sailing challenge.
Launched by the history-making yachtswoman in 2003, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that rebuilds confidence after cancer and uses sailing to support, empower and inspire young people aged 8-24 in embracing their future with optimism.
Between May and September, over 100 young people, who have all sailed with the Trust following cancer treatment, are taking part in a 2,400-mile sailing relay around Britain on the Trust’s 44ft yacht, Moonspray to celebrate recovery, achievement and potential. Up to five different young people are joining the crew for each leg, while two of the full-time crew have also been through treatment and benefited from Trust support.
Moonspray is scheduled to arrive in Cardiff Bay on 24 August, berthing as a guest of the city and the Extreme Sailing Series next to the Challenge Wales tall ship and the GC32 catamarans.
Four of the crew, aged between 20 and 23, joined the boat in Falmouth on Sunday for the 230nm Round Britain Leg 13 journey around Land’s End and up the Bristol Channel to Wales. They will then be at the heart of the action as the Extreme Sailing Series returns to Cardiff for four days of adrenaline-fueled Bank Holiday racing (25-28 August).
Like all six of the Leg 13 crewmembers who first sailed with Trust as young people in recovery for cancer, 21-year-old Alisha Saunders, from Crediton, Devon, now volunteers on Trust trips to support and inspire other young people going through experiences only they know.
Alisha’s first Trust trip came in 2012 following treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. She said: “From my Trust trips I gained the feeling that no matter what we’ve been through, how and what we’re doing now is good. I love the kindness and passion from everyone who goes on these trips. I like to go to new places and learn new things so I’ve been really looking forward to Round Britain to share more stories and smiles and to do more sailing.”
On 26 – 27 August, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust team will have a stand in the race village where you can learn more about the Trust and its work and buy all sorts of goodies! This year the Trust will work with almost 600 young people in recovery. But for every young person they currently support, there are nine they cannot. Yet.
Fellow Leg 13 crewmember, 23-year-old Abbie Morton, who now works as a therapeutic radiographer at Southampton General Hospital having become interested in cancer during her treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma, says the Trust is unique: “I made friends really quickly because everyone was in the same situation. I felt comfortable talking about things they would understand that my friends at home wouldn’t. I also felt more independent. Without the Trust I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to turn around some of the big negatives of having cancer into a positive by going sailing.”
Moonspray departs Cardiff on 29tAugust for the longest Round Britain 2017 leg, the 250-nautical mile voyage to Holyhead, before heading over the Irish Sea to Belfast. Round Britain finishes back where it started at the Trust’s Scottish base in Largs in September.
Through the campaign #tell9people and by sharing the stories of the young people taking part, Round Britain 2017 aims to raise awareness of the Trust’s work both publicly and within the hospitals and medical support networks around the country, many of which the young people will be visiting during the voyage.
You can support the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s campaign and follow Round Britain 2017 via the Trust’s social media channels and on the live voyage tracker at
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