A Moulton Chapel leukaemia survivor has enjoyed the trip of a lifetime thanks to the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.
Tori Nixon was 19 when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and she underwent six months of intense treatment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Now 21, she is in complete remission and earlier this month spent four days sailing from the Isle of Wight with the charity.
“After my treatment I was super fatigued, I couldn’t really walk longer than ten minutes. It’s taken a huge toll on my body and even now I still have to be careful how I spend my energy,” she said.
“The sailing trip has been great because it’s pushed me to my limit but without going over it. I was kept very isolated throughout my treatment as it was during COVID, so it’s been great to finally meet people with the same life experiences.”
She was among a group of 21 young people who sailed around the Solent with the trust.
“I was anxious no-one would like me or that I would struggle to make friends, but it wasn’t like that at all.
We all instantly connected and I felt like a really valued member of the crew.
“My friends at home have all been very supportive but I do feel there is a lack of understanding. I think you can only really understand if you’ve been through it yourself. I feel so much better about myself now.”
The trust offers sailing and outdoor activities to encourage young people to meet others who have had similar experiences.
It can often be the first time a young person has been away from home and also means they don’t feel like ‘the only one.’
“After treatment I thought I had lost all my ambition, but this has really helped me feel like myself again and realise my dreams are actually still there and I can achieve anything,” said Tori.
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust was founded by the record-breaking yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur in 2003.
“Sailing is just the vehicle. On the boat some magic happens. It’s not really the sailing or the water, but the environment being on a boat creates,” she said.