Wen joins the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust for an emotional homecoming
A 27-year-old Cardiff woman, who is in recovery from Severe Aplastic Anemia, will be part of a triumphant homecoming when she sails into Largs on Scotland’s West Coast to complete the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s epic four-month Round Britain 2017 sailing relay on Saturday 23 September.
Ceinwen (Wen) Stone is amongst seven young people in recovery from cancer and serious illness tackling the final 140 nautical mile Round Britain leg from Belfast back to the Trust’s Northern base in Largs aboard the 44ft voyage yacht, Moonspray this week.
Launched by the history-making yachtswoman in 2003, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that rebuilds confidence after cancer and uses sailing to support, empower and inspire young people aged 8-24 in embracing their future with optimism.
Round Britain 2017 got underway from Largs on Saturday 20 May. Since then 125 young people have taken part in this extraordinary 17 leg relay, covering 2,400 nautical miles and visiting 58 different ports, to celebrate recovery, achievement and potential.
Wen, who is originally from Redditch, first sailed with the Trust in 2011 after being diagnosed while studying at Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2010 and undergoing treatment at University Hospital of Wales.
Now the fine art graduate, who for her final project produced a piece featuring images of 148 blood donors marking the number of transfusions she had in five years, volunteers on Trust trips to support and inspire other young people going through experiences only they know.
She said: “I’m looking forward to just being part of Round Britain and bringing the boat home! I’ve never sailed in that part of Britain before so I think it will be really fun whilst also being quite challenging too.
“The Trust is there to develop you as a person, not just as a quick fix or a one-off trip. It’s special because it really changes how you feel, your outlook on life and provides you with new skills. Without the Trust I wouldn’t have finished university or be where I am and who I am today.”
Moonspray left Belfast on Tuesday 19 Sept and after crossing the finish line, they will be welcomed home to Largs Yacht Haven by around 100 Trust supporters, Round Britain crew members, families and friends at a celebratory reception.
This year the Trust will work with around 550 young people in recovery from cancer. But for every young person they currently support, there are nine they cannot. Yet.
Amongst the many Round Britain highlights are the crews navigating across the Caledonian Canal, sailing through Tower Bridge on the Thames, enjoying the buzz of Cowes Week and being in the thick of the thrilling Cardiff Extreme Sailing Series action. They have sailed at night and been awestruck as dolphins swam alongside.
In addition, during the voyage stopovers the crews have visited 13 hospitals around the country, to meet other young people still undergoing treatment to inspire them in seeing what is possible after cancer.
Up to five different young people joined the Round Britain crew for each leg, while three of the full-time crew have also been through treatment and benefited from Trust support.
Through the campaign #tell9people, and by sharing the stories of the young people taking part, Round Britain 2017 aims to raise awareness of the Trust’s work both publicly and within the hospitals and medical support networks around the country.
You can support the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s campaign and follow Round Britain 2017 via the Trust’s social media channels and on the live voyage tracker at www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org