A 26-year-old cancer survivor from Pembrokeshire recently enjoyed a five-day ‘silver lining’ of sailing from the Isle of Wight with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.
Callan Glass was 20 years old when he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He was one of nine young Britons who sailed from the Isle of Wight.
The isolation, loneliness and anxiety experienced by young people with cancer were amplified by Covid-19 and confinement, as confidence returned to the water.
Callan first sailed with confidence in 2016. He explains: “The last few years have been really tough for everyone. Getting back to being confident has been better than I thought, like being able to meet new faces and familiar faces and having that place to relax and not worry about the rest of life and just browse.
Through the Trust’s outdoor activities, young people meet others who have had similar experiences – often for the first time, rediscover independence away from home, experience an increased sense of purpose and esteem of themselves and start to achieve again what they are capable of.
Callan added: “I was diagnosed at the age of 20, I was living in London and working at the time, so it completely changed my life direction. It was a roller coaster, but I still feel like I’m so privileged because with these charities like the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust it turned something very negative and gave me a silver lining so I really appreciate it.
Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder and patron of the trust, concludes: “We hear a lot that for many young people what happens after treatment can be as difficult, if not more, than the treatment itself. Receiving funding from the Postal Code Popular Lottery has been a game-changer by enabling us to reach out and positively impact the lives of several hundred of these young people over the past decade.
“We know the impact of trust on the mental well-being of young people living through and beyond cancer. Thanks to People’s Postcode Lottery players, more and more people will receive the support they need to believe in a better future.
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust was founded in 2003 by the world record breaking sailor. It is there for anyone who is struggling or who just needs a little support, no matter how long their treatment is. Visit ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org or follow @emctrust on social media to learn more about the trust.