Peterborough teenage cancer survivor given chance to experience week of exhilarating activities thanks to charity
A teenage cancer survivor from Peterborough has been given the chance to experience a week of exhilarating activities thanks to the Ellen Macarthyr Cancer Trust.
Corey Foster, an 18-year-old from Orton Wistow, was 13 when he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. He was among 7 young people from across the UK that spent last week at Bradwell Essex Outdoors, as the Trust gets back to bringing young people together, having been off the water in 2020.
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust inspires young people aged 8-24 to believe in a brighter future living through and beyond cancer. For many young people, picking up where they left off before their diagnosis isn’t possible. So, when treatment ends, the Trust’s work begins.
The isolation, loneliness and anxiety experienced by young people with cancer has been massively amplified by the COVID and lockdown. That is why they need the Trust more than ever right now.
Corey first sailed with the Trust in 2019. He explains: “This year’s had a big impact on my mental health; being in my house by myself, with my family 24/7, and not being able to socialise. I lost my social skills because I didn’t really use them much.
“I had to shield at the start because of my immune system, which made me more worried, because I was seen as a vulnerable person. The anxiety was the worst part.
“This has just been an incredible week and I’ve gained so much. It’s been me talking about my story, and listening to everyone else’s, and it’s just good to open-up to everyone. All of us have had cancer and I’ve gained friends, I’ve gained trust in more people, and I’ve gained back my social skills because I’ve been able to talk to people more.”
Through the Trust’s sailing and outdoor activities, young people build meet others, who have had similar experiences - often for the first time, rediscover independence away from home, experience an increased sense of purpose and self-worth, and begin to realise what they are capable of again. Most importantly they stop feeling like the ‘only one’.
The young people are inspired to believe in a brighter future as they feel valued, accepted, optimistic and independent. They can start to re-establish their place in the world by getting back into education or employment and reconnecting with their friends and families.
Corey adds: “This was my second trip, and it was a big deal because my first trip helped me a lot with understanding my story, and that I’m not the only one that has been going through cancer.
“It’s hard when you suddenly come out of hospital, and you are kind of alone. Even though you get treated for cancer, you lose people you thought were there for you and it makes you feel a bit down. But the Trust makes you feel like one big family. After everything that’s happened this year, it’s nice to have had that little something to look forward to.”