Young cancer survivor sets sail on charity yacht adventure

Izzy Lewis, 12, joined the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Round Britain challenge
Izzy Lewis, 12, joined the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Round Britain challenge

A young cancer survivor from New Mills has just completed her stretch on the crew of a Round Britain charity sailing challenge.

Izzy Lewis, 12, was one of seven young people on the 100-nautical mile journey from Holyhead to Liverpool aboard the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust yacht Moonspray, September 5-9.

It was the 15th leg of a four-month challenge in which 100 survivors from all around the country navigate its 2,400-mile coastline.

Izzy, who finished treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2011, said: “The best bit of this trip was seeing the dolphins swimming right alongside next to us, there were a lot of them.

“They were jumping too and when we looked over the side you could see them swimming below the surface of the water.”

Launched in 2003 by the history-making yachtswoman from Whatstandwell, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust helps youngsters regain their confidence after illness.

Izzy took her first sailing trip with them in 2004, and has taken to life on the water.

She said: “Trust trips are really fun and you meet a lot of new people. It’s really easy to talk to people because no one judges you.

“You can talk freely about things you might not with other people. No one laughs at you, they laugh with you.”

She added: “I’ve gained more confidence this week, meeting new people of different ages, and I’ve also learned more about sailing, like what different lights mean on ships.

“I’ll remember all the people I’ve met too. We will definitely all stay in touch.”

During the trip, Izzy visited the Holyhead Coastguard Operations Centre, Conwy castle, Liverpool’s museums and BBC Studios in Salford to meet Pudsey the Bear and sit on the BBC Breakfast sofa.

She left Moonspray as four more young people joined the boat for the 180-nautical mile sail across the Irish Sea to Belfast, which has unfortunately been delayed by bad weather.

All being well, yacht and crew will finish their journey back at the trust’s Scottish base in Largs on Saturday, September 23.

n To watch a video from Izzy’s week on board, find out more about the charity’s work and how to support it, visit http://bit.ly/2wZ0OO6.