An 11-year-old cancer survivor from Goole is re-building his confidence thanks to The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.
Going through any form of cancer treatment can be an extremely difficult and upsetting experience, but when you are aged just 10 it can be a whole different ball game.
Young people can be left feeling like they have missed out on a huge chunk of their childhood, but The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust was set up to change that.
Launched in 2003, the inspirational Trust gives young cancer survivors between the ages of eight and 24 the chance to go on sailing trips in order to regain their confidence.
Kamil Kasprowski, 11, from Goole, finished treatment for medulloblastoma in November 2015. He was recently taken on a four-day sailing adventure alongside other young people in recovery from cancer by the Trust.
Kamil, who had no previous sailing experience, told Our Goole: ‘The trip was recommended by the hospital. It’s been fun and it was good to make new friends.
‘At home some people look at you, like your hair or something because you look different – but here no one looks at you. I definitely want to come again next year.’
Sailing onboard a 42-foot cruising yacht, the trip provided a chance for Kamil and the other young people on board to test themselves in a safe and supportive environment, encouraging them to work as a team and get involved in everything from helming the boat to cooking.
Kamil’s yacht departed from its Scottish base in Largs Yacht Haven and the young people then navigated the waters of the Firth of Clyde and enjoyed various stopovers including Port Bannatyne on the picturesque Isle of Bute, before putting their new skills to the test cruising back into Largs.
Often, the young people that sail with the Trust have spent long periods of time in a hospital environment and can be suffering from low self-esteem. The trips provide the opportunity to socialise and build confidence while experiencing teamwork and fun in an intimate environment.
Dame Ellen, who tries to spend a day on as many trips as possible, told Our Goole: ‘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.’
Find out more about the trust by visiting www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org