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Cancer sufferer from Erith sails with Ellen MacArthur Trust

PUBLISHED: 14:34 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:34 20 June 2019

Cancer survivor Lucy loved her time on the waves which also really boosted her confidence. Picture: Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

Cancer survivor Lucy loved her time on the waves which also really boosted her confidence. Picture: Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

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A teenager cancer survivor has been living the dream on a sailing trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

Lucy Long at the helm. Picture: Ellen MacArthur Cancer TrustLucy Long at the helm. Picture: Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

The 18-year-old from Erith is recovering from cancer and is now much more optimistic.

Her recovery was helped by experiencing the waves with the sailing trip of a lifetime.

The charity set sail on its first trip of the season from June 10 and Lucy was there.

She was just two when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and underwent three years of intensive treatment, but unfortunately, she relapsed when she was seven and needed a lifesaving bone marrow transplant.

She still has to endure regular checkups at the UCLH late effects centre.

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But during her last appointment she saw an Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust brochure in the waiting room and instantly wanted to go on a trip.

She was amongst 20 young people in recovery that took part in a unique four-day sailing adventure around the Isle of Wight.

Launched in 2003, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that rebuilds confidence after cancer, using sailing to support, empower and inspire young people aged 8-24 in re-engaging with life and embracing their futures with optimism.

Lucy has always felt different compared to her friends, during her treatment she spent months in isolation and missed social interactions, but she believes the Trust trip has given her more confidence to make new friends.

She revealed: "I've never been around people who understand, meeting other young people has made a massive difference and allowed me to talk about what I've had and not feel ashamed.

"I don't usually like talking about it as I don't like people judging me on what I've had rather than who I am as a person."

The Trust said for many young people in recovery, the unseen mental and emotional after-effects of cancer are as difficult as the physical, and simply picking up where they left off before their diagnosis is not possible.

Lucy added: "I feel more confident in myself, meeting other people and socialising in general. I now feel more open to talk about everything."

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