Woman sets sail after cancer treatment

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A young woman who has battled cancer set sail on a new adventure in Scotland on a four day yacht expedition.

Amber Aspinall, 22, from Todmorden took part in an inspirational sailing trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, along with 14 other young people in recovery from cancer.

She joined the crew of one of the Trust’s yachts, to sail on the Firth of Clyde in Scotland.

For Amber, who finished cancer treatment in May 2014 for Medullablastoma at The Christie Hospital, this was her first time sailing with the Trust.

She said: “Despite first day nerves, it was soon like everyone here was a great big family. I loved meeting everyone here, meeting other young people who have had cancer makes you feel normal again.”

Sailing onboard 42-48 foot cruising yachts, the Trust trips provide a chance for the young people 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.

“When we played rounders, I ran for the first time in two years, the first time since I was diagnosed. This trip has played a big part in convincing me that I can do whatever I want as long as I put my mind to it.”

During the trips, the Trust fleet navigates the waters of the Firth of Clyde, making various stopovers including Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute, the National Sailing Centre at Great Cumbrae and back to Largs, giving the young people the opportunity to test their new skills on the water.

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

In its 12th year, the Trust has grown beyond every expectation into a national charity.