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Trust inspiring a bright future after Cancer this Christmas

by Karenza Morton 18 Nov 13:38 GMT

Hope, positivity, laughter, inclusion, these are some of the inspirational words captured on this year's Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Christmas card, designed by a young woman the Trust has supported in recovery from cancer.

Last month, 20-year-old Alysia Rea, from Belfast won a competition to design the long-sleeved Musto tee that will be worn by all young people on Trust trips in 2021. But the words Alysia incorporated into her design were so poignant and uplifting the Trust decided to make them the centrepiece of this year's festive artwork too.

Alysia was diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan anemia - a rare bone marrow disorder - aged 11 in 2011. Two years ago she was supported by the Trust for the first time, taking part in a four-day sailing trip from the Trust's base in Largs on Scotland's West Coast, before returning again in 2019.

Her t-shirt design, adorned with inspirational words associated with the Trust and recovery after cancer, has been adapted to fit inside a Christmas tree bauble surrounded by snowflakes for the magical Christmas card.

Alysia said: "My design was inspired by the incredible bonds that are created on the trips. My favourite memory is when we sat out on deck in our pyjamas and just talked, played games, and had fun nearly all night long. The Trust is important to me because it provides a chance to meet with other young people who have a similar idea of what you're going through."

Christmas is going to be different this year. But knowing some people will still want to do something to support young people in recovery from cancer, the Trust has launched a range of festive gifts and treats so those who want and are able to support can. These include a unique Trust tree bauble, a big Trust bobble hat and a new grey zip hoodie, as modelled by the Trust's founder and patron, Dame Ellen MacArthur herself.

Trust volunteer, Adam Bromley, who was treated for Non Hodgkins Lymphoma as a 14-year-old, will also be performing a special live Christmas Carol Concert on the Trust's Facebook page (@EMCTrust) on Sunday 20 December (5pm). You don't need to register, just get online, get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy a sing-a-long from the comfort of your sofa as Adam performs some yuletide classics. Festive attire is highly encouraged!

To support the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust this Christmas, visit

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