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Young sailor wins national design competition for her heroine's cancer charity

by Scott Wilson 1 Aug 09:00 BST

A young Cornish sailor, who was inspired by Ellen MacArthur's autobiography whilst undergoing cancer treatment, has gone full circle after winning a national Musto competition to design the official 2020 t-shirt for her heroine's cancer charity.

Romy Rundle, 16, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in her left leg in September 2018 and endured eight months of intensive treatment and surgery, including having an internal prosthesis fitted.

Last summer, Romy, who had started learning to sail shortly before her diagnosis, went sailing with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, the national charity that supports young people aged 8-24 in rebuilding their confidence after cancer.

For the past two years, Musto - the charity's official clothing supplier since 2003 - has invited every young person on each Trust sailing trip to create a design to sum up the difference the Trust has made to them.

And it was Romy's symbolic sketch of a porthole surrounded by an inspirational line about how the Trust sparks new adventure in young people in their cancer recovery that was voted this year's official Musto Trust tee winner.

A delighted Romy said: "I definitely kept sailing in my mind when I was going through treatment. It's what kept me going. I had Ellen's 'Race Against Time' book and I took that to every stay at the hospital.

"The Trust is important to me because of everyone there and the feeling I got from sailing was so special. It gave me something to look forward to and the trip helped me to regain a lot of confidence.

"My favourite memory was when our skipper, Dan, let me do a full 360 turn on the boat. That was really good because for the first time in ages I felt like I was in control of myself and what I was doing.

"On the boats the young people would wave to each other thorough the portholes. This is what inspired my design. I learned so much, had so much fun and I can't wait to go back."

Although not able to support young people in person this year, the Trust is running its first Virtual Summer, a programme of activities giving everyone the chance to still be part of the Trust community in 2020.

This includes each young person, like Romy, who was due to return for a Trust trip this year receiving their Musto tee in the post. This year's t-shirts are perfect for keeping young people sun safe as they have an Ultraviolet Protection Factor ranging from 30-40. Musto's sunblock clothing is engineered to protect you from the sun's harmful rays. The Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) indicates the level to which it will shield you from harmful UV rays. Musto's UPF range never drops below 30 and goes as high as 50, ensuring you can stay safe in the sun for longer.

Romy was inspired to learn to sail after seeing the boats on annual visits to the Isles of Scilly. She has since picked up where she left off after her Trust trip gave her the confidence to return to the helm. She admits she can't wait to see where her sailing journey takes her and would love to volunteer for the Trust in the future.

Earlier this month, Romy had another dream come true when she virtually 'met' her heroine, Dame Ellen, on a special recording of the Trust’s podcast, Sound Waves, to celebrate the charity's 17th birthday.

Ellen said: "I don't think you can describe the magic that happens on trips. The magic is the change in those young people from arriving on day one, often being incredibly shy and quiet, to when they leave four days later just so full of fun and adventure and stories and laughter. It's just extraordinary to witness that."

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust was founded by the history-making yachtswoman in 2003. Since then, almost 2,500 young people have been supported in rebuilding their lives after cancer through sailing and adventure activities. For more information visit www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org.

Built on over 50 years of engineering cutting-edge performance apparel, Musto are the world's leading sailing brand and a British leader in field sports. They use the same fabric technology that protects our ocean racers to keep you dry and comfortable whatever your outdoor activity. Find out more at www.musto.com.

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