Darlington boy sets out on sailing adventure to celebrate recovering from leukaemia

Thomas Atherton

Thomas Atherton

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TO celebrate his recovery from leukaemia, a Darlington boy set sail on an adventurous yachting trip.

Thomas Atherton, 11, finished treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle in December 2012.

To mark his recovery, he was invited to join the crew and 20 other young cancer survivors aboard a cruising yacht for a four-day adventure with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust in July.

He set sail from the Trust’s new base in Largs to navigate the waters of the Firth of Clyde, stopping off at various points including Port Bannatyne and the National Sailing Centre at Great Cumbrae before returning to Largs.

Thomas said: “I felt a bit scared, but I was still looking forward to it.

“We had great fun and lots of food – BBQ, fish and chips and we all did some cooking on the boat.

“We slept on the boat which was really good fun but the best bit was taking the helm and driving the boat.

“It was cool to meet other people on the trip, I’ve tried to talk to friends back home but they don’t really understand – on this trip everyone understands what you’re going through so that’s good.”

The sailing trip was provided free of charge by The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, which is reliant on donations.

For more information or to make a donation, visit ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org.

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