Schoolboys enjoy inspirational sailing trip on south coast with Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

Nathan Church sailing with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
Nathan Church sailing with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

Two schoolboys who have been treated for cancer have enjoyed time sailing with other youngsters who have faced the same disease.

Nathan Church, nine, from Flitwick, and Jack Burnett, 12, from Pavenham, took part in an inspirational sailing trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, along with 25 others aged eight to 18 in recovery from cancer.

Jack Burnett sailing with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

Jack Burnett sailing with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

The boys joined the crew of one of five yachts, to sail around the Solent on the south coast during August in a four-day yacht adventure.

For Nathan, who finished cancer treatment in June 2012 for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, this was his first time sailing with the Trust.

He said: “The trip has made a big difference to my confidence, I am much more confident about being on a boat, and being near water.”

“It is good to spend time with others. You already have something to talk about so you get an immediate bond. I will take away great memories and fears that I have overcome.”

Jack, who finished cancer treatment in 2010 for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, was also on his first sailing trip with the trust.

He said: “My favourite part was sitting at the front of the yacht on the first day getting sprayed by the waves. It is comforting to be around others who have been through the same thing as me – they understand me. I feel more confident with new people now and I really want to come back again.”

Launched in 2003, the aim of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust charity is to give young people in recovery from cancer the chance to rebuild their confidence through sailing.

Dame Ellen, who tries to spend a day on as many trips as possible, added: “The mental and social fall-out from cancer can be just as devastating as the physical illness. Everything we do is about building confidence, self-esteem and having fun together.”

Visit http://www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org