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GJW Direct 2020

Dame Ellen says 'Thank You' as cancer charity celebrates Giving Tuesday

by Karenza Morton 1 Dec 2020 07:00 GMT

Dame Ellen MacArthur is saying 'Thank You' to everyone who has enabled her charity - the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust - to keep supporting young people in recovery from cancer through the pandemic on international Giving Tuesday (1 December).

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that inspires young people aged 8-24 to imagine a new future after cancer treatment through sailing and adventure activities. But, after COVID scuppered hopes to welcome up to 750 young people on trips around the UK this year, the Trust pivoted to run new on and offline activities to support them instead.

COVID has provided additional challenges to young people and families going through, or in recovery from, cancer. Young people have felt even more lonely and isolated by COVID restrictions, with many having to shield, stuck indoors for seemingly endless weeks, while families have lived with the extra anxiety and fear of how COVID might affect their child.

That is why Ellen is using Giving Tuesday - the recognised day of global giving - to pay tribute to everyone who has continued to stand with the Trust in this unprecedented year.

She said: "Because of the support we've received this year we've been able to help young people in recovery from cancer in 2020. We haven't been on the water as usual, but we promised we would still be here for every young person who needed us. And we were. And we are. And we will be.

"We've been able to engage in activities online and new and innovative programmes that still bring that togetherness, positivity and hope we've felt on our Trust trips over the past 17 years."

Wen Stone, who required almost 150 blood transfusions after being diagnosed with very severe Aplastic Anaemia in 2010, shielded in complete isolation indoors for 11 weeks this spring due to the immune deficiency she lives with post-treatment. Being able to still access Trust support was invaluable to her throughout the year.

She said: "One of the most positive things I've learned is I've got a huge, huge community around me all going through the same storm. We're not necessarily in the same boat, but we look out for each other."

With 2021 offering optimism of a return to some level of 'normality', the Trust is currently working on how it can get young people safely back on the water - inspiring them to start looking positively towards the future in the best way it knows how - next year. But cancer, and the mental and emotional impact of COVID, isn't going away and these young people need the Trust more than ever.

Ellen concludes: "We know Christmas is going to be different for many, many reasons. So, if you're able to support us this Christmas we're overwhelmed, but if you're not, we totally understand. What we want this Christmas is just to know you get us, you understand us and you're there for us. We look forward to a wonderful 2021, when we hope we can all be on the water together again face-to-face."

To support the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust visit www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org/donate

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