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Bridlington Woman Refinds Identity Thanks To Charity

Bridlington Woman Refinds Identity Thanks To Charity

Published by Karen Liu at 1:38pm 24th April 2019. (Updated at 1:59pm 24th April 2019)

A young Bridlington woman, who was treated for cancer in her teens, says she has re-found her identity after taking part in the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s first outdoor adventure weekend of 2019.

Katie Holland, now 22, was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2013 and underwent treatment at St James’ Hospital in Leeds, an experience that left her feeling uncertain about what she was capable of.

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that supports young people aged 8-24 to rebuild their confidence after cancer through sailing and outdoor adventure trips.

When treatment ends, the Trust’s work begins as for many young people picking up where they left off before their diagnosis just isn’t possible. 

Katie first sailed with the Trust in Largs on Scotland’s West Coast last summer, and earlier this month headed to Essex Outdoors Bradwell.

There she enjoyed four days of high ropes, canoeing, sailing and archery, amongst other activities, whilst meeting new friends who have been through similar experiences to her.

She said:

“When you’ve got cancer you can’t do things because you’re ill and that knocks your confidence.

You lose part of your identity because you’re just ‘a cancer patient’. On the Trust trips you’re given so much responsibility and ways to do things for yourself, rather than having people do things for you, and that builds confidence. 

The trips have helped me to re-find my identity away from being a cancer patient and it’s made me more confident in who I am and what I can do.

Now I have a motto in life that I will try anything at least once. If I don’t like it, fine, but at least I’ve given it a go. I did that at Bradwell and tried lots of things I’d never done before.”

Katie, who is in her third year studying Psychology at Liverpool Hope University, adds:

“Everyone’s in the same boat of having had cancer. Because you’re in a group of people who all understand what each other has been through, everyone really gives each other extra encouragement.

I see people doing things, and I might be tired, but that motivates me and gives me the confidence to try to do it too.”

Since 2003, more than 2,230 young people have been supported by the Trust in recovery, sailing for the first time before many keep coming back to take part in the other confidence-building sailing and outdoor adventure activities the Trust runs across the country.

Find out more at www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org

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