The Ellen Macarthur Cancer Trust
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national organisation that gives young people between the ages of 8-18 who have suffered from cancer and leukaemia the opportunity to take part in the new and fantastic experience of sailing. The majority of our young people are off treatment and in recovery from cancer and leukaemia. These young people are recruited by our contact (usually a nurse or social worker) at the hospital or group we work with, as they are more involved with the young people at the hospitals and so aware of who would benefit the most from the trip. The young people can continue to sail with the Trust up until their 18th birthday or remission date. Often the young people that sail with us have spent long periods of time in hospital and can be suffering from low self-esteem on top of missing out on large chunks of their childhood. Studies into the psychological effects of cancer in children highlight how important positive personal relationships with others are in facilitating coping with cancer. They also state how difficult it is for the children (especially teens) to establish independence and a sense of control over their lives and maintain a sense of personal worth. The emphasis of our trips is on teamwork and fun, with sailing as the perfect catalyst. Sailing offers a new experience in a small and intimate environment, which gives the young people the space to assert themselves without the chance of getting lost in the group. These independent studies into the psychological effects of cancer in children and the values of sail training for young people highlight the long term positive impact the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust trips can have on the challenges that children with cancer and leukaemia face. “Jay returned full of confidence, chat, and knowledge of sailing. Jay had ‘life’ back in his eyes. He enjoyed the whole experience"

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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 Yorkshire & Humberside, like Paige.

Paige, now 17, from Derbyshire was treated at Sheffield Children’s Hospital for a brain tumour. Her mum Jane recalls she had been suffering from migraines and sickness for a while.

“The consultant told us Paige had a tumour behind her eyes that was so big he was surprised she hadn’t had a seizure, it was just crazy. Everything happened so fast. Paige was just 10 at the time and absolutely terrified. I remember her saying she didn’t think she was going to walk out of that hospital alive.”

Just days later, Paige had the first of two eight-hour brain operations. 

“Cancer is terrible for anyone, but often, after treatment, the person can carry on with their life the same as before. When it affects the brain, the person can change a lot.” says Jane.

“Before her surgery Paige was a right little tomboy, really active, always playing cricket and football but afterwards she was like a zombie, which was very difficult. Since then it has been one thing after another; she had radiotherapy and then stopped eating so the doctors put a PEG in to feed directly into her stomach, which she still uses.”

“Two years ago Paige relapsed and we were told there wasn’t much more the doctors could do. Miraculously this tumour vanished, but then three more appeared and we had to fight hard for new radio- surgery treatment which was really effective. Paige is not yet in remission and the tumours are still there but they are static, which is great news. There have been many side-effects, Paige is now 17 but will always be the same height as when she was 10, and her memory has been affected so she can’t really go out by herself.

“We get through most things by just laughing about them. When Paige was recently told she had cataracts she joked they should just put her down now! She has an amazing sense of humour and takes everything in her stride.

“I was delighted when I found out Paige could go sailing with the Trust and try something different on her own. I read in the Trust newsletter that the trip aims to rebuild confidence, and it certainly did. She came back a different person, her confidence was back! She couldn’t stop talking about meeting Ellen and her dog, and she loved absolutely everything about the trip.

Paige continues, “I’ve worn the top the Trust gave me every week, and before the next group go on their trip this year I’ve been asked to go and talk at the hospital about what a great time I had. I couldn’t pick my best bit of the trip; I had so much fun and had loads of water fights. I’d love to go again, any day!”

Paige returned to our Waterpark residential activity week in the Lake District in 2011, and will be taking part in the J. P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race in 2012.

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31.05.13 Keep sprinkling the magic dust on these kids :-) You guys truely are super heros !!


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