Sunderland cancer survivor sets sail on yacht adventure

Cloe Laws, sailing.
Cloe Laws, sailing.
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A SUNDERLAND cancer survivor has spoken of her pride in taking part in an inspirational sailing trip.

Chloe Laws has just returned from a trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, alongside 13 other young people between the age of 18 and 24 who are in recovery from cancer.

The 22-year-old was on one of three yachts which set sail from the trust’s new base in Largs, on the west coast of Scotland, on a five-day yacht adventure.

Chloe was treated at the Great North Children’s Hospital at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) for T Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma in November 2009.

She said: “My first trip with the trust was three years ago. I loved it. I wanted to be a sailor.

“I was so excited to come again. The anticipation of the trip helps you to remain positive when you are working day to day.”

Sailing on board 42-48ft cruising yachts, the 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.

Chloe added: “On the trip, we have done a lot, including sailing the yacht, meeting lots of new people and living on the boat; next time I need to bring a pillow though!

“A trip like this has taught me a lot about life.

“I have enjoyed every aspect of the trip, but if I had to choose a high point, it feels amazing seeing people who have been through so much and look so well now.”

The trip navigated the waters of the Firth of Clyde, which took them to various stopovers including Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute, Portavadie on the Cowal Peninsula; and Lochranza on the Isle of Arran, before sailing on to the National Sailing Centre at Great Cumbrae and then back to Largs.

Dame Ellen MacArthur, who broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in 2005, said: “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.”