The Ellen Macarthur Cancer Trust
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust takes young people aged between 8-24 sailing to help them regain their confidence, on their way to recovery from cancer. For more information please visit...

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Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Appeal Page

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The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national organisation that gives young people between the ages of 8-24 who have suffered from cancer the opportunity to take part in the new and fantastic experience of sailing. 

Use this page to help us support a young person from Scotland like Esme.

Esme, 16 from Kinross was diagnosed with a Brain Tumour in 2006.  Her mum Anne recalls, “It was a complete shock. On Saturday Esme was cross country skiing in the Cairngorms and on Monday we were in hospital!”

Esme continues, “I was 11, and didn’t really understood what was happening. That week whizzed past. I had an operation to remove the tumour and when I woke up I was pretty much paralysed.”

Anne continues “When we first saw Esme after her operation we were encouraged by her response.  Clearly there was no brain damage, but as time went by we started to realise how badly her mobility had been affected.”

Esme said, ” At first, I could only move my finger. I had to be hoisted in and out of bed, couldn’t eat by myself, or do much at all. Most of the time I felt like I wasn’t in my own mind, like I was watching myself from the outside. I was in hospital for three months then in a wheelchair for over a year.  At this point I returned to school, but going back after such a long time was difficult. I had lost all my confidence. I had assistance to get around but that just made me feel more isolated. I didn’t like school much anymore and it was getting me down, so eventually I left.

Anne said “This was the hardest part, after treatment was over. Depression is an area of the journey you aren’t prepared for, the transition into adulthood is hard enough anyway, but with this, the balance issues, hormone imbalances, think you are through the worst and then something else happens.”

Esme continues, “When I heard about the Trust I really wanted to get involved. I had sailed a little bit before, and found it was something I could still do. On the trip everyone was so friendly, I felt like I fitted in and was more comfortable talking to people because they understood. There was such a nice atmosphere. I am still struggling, but the fact that I can have fun times like on trips with the Trust keeps me going.”

Esme has overcome so much since her operation. She has learnt to write and play harp with her left hand, uses a snowbike instead of skis, cycles on a trike, has raised money for cancer charities, and has just started a course to help her get work.  Although experiences like her sailing trip are few and far between, they can provide something to really look forward to, and we can’t wait to welcome Esme back again in 2012.

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