A West Lancashire man is amongst those getting involved in an epic virtual challenge event launched by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust to transform young lives after treatment.
Now 22, Jack Seddon from Skelmersdale was supported by the Trust after treatment for a germinoma tumour in his brain as a teenager, before becoming a volunteer.
Jack will be cycling 210 miles throughout September as part of the Trust’s virtual Round Britain Your Way event, which is running throughout the whole of September to coincide with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that empowers young people aged 8-24 to embrace their future after cancer. When treatment ends, the Trust’s work begins as for many young people, picking up where they left off before their diagnosis isn’t possible.
The Trust has twice sailed around Britain crewed by young people in recovery from cancer in 2009 and 2017. Now Round Britain Your Way invites anyone to run, swim, walk, cycle or create their own challenge to collectively travel the 4,800 miles the young people sailed on each of those two voyages.
Jack first sailed with the Trust in 2013 from their base in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, before training to become a volunteer 2016.
He said: “They found a 3cm lesion on my brain after the left-side of my body went numb following a knock to the head during a game of rugby. I missed out on a term and a bit of school, I stopped playing rugby while I was being treated and I was told I couldn’t play anymore due to trauma on my skull. That really hit me hard because rugby had been my life since I could walk, it was all I knew.
“I was anxious about going on a Trust trip at first, until I met the other young people, and then as soon as we got together as a group, I knew it was going to be a great week. Even though we only see each other about once a year, we’ve got that lasting bond, we’ve still got our friendship. The Trust has given me the self-belief that I could actually be a big success in whatever I do.”
Young people will need the Trust more than ever in the wake of COVID-19. Isolation, loneliness, anxiety, anger and fear are all experienced by young people and their families during and after cancer treatment. COVID has intensified every one to unimaginable levels.
But the Trust is expecting its income to drop by a third this year due to the impact of the pandemic. Round Britain Your Way will raise vital funds so the Trust can still be here for those young people who need support after their treatment ends.
He added: “When the the Trust announced Round Britain Your Way, I knew I had to join in, and I knew I had to cycle. Although I could have picked flatter routes to build up miles quicker, I decided I had to make it a challenge, cycling up the various steep hills that surround my home.”
Round Britain Your Way is all about taking on a challenge of your choice, either on your own or as part of a team within COVID regulations. To find out more and to support the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust visit www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org