A Dundee teenager is among those getting involved in an epic virtual challenge launched by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust to transform youngster’s lives after treatment.
Now 14, Elita McFarlane was supported by the trust after treatment for renal cell carcinoma – a kind of kidney cancer.
Elita is challenging herself to cycle 122 miles around local lochs by the end of September as part of the trust’s virtual Round Britain Your Way event, which is running throughout the whole of September to coincide with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that empowers young people aged 8-24 to embrace their future after cancer.
When treatment ends, the trust’s work begins as, for many young people, picking up where they left off before their diagnosis isn’t possible.
The trust has twice sailed round Britain crewed by young people in recovery from cancer in 2009 and 2017.
Now Round Britain Your Way invites anyone to run, swim, walk, cycle or create their own challenge to collectively travel the 4,800 miles the young people sailed on each of those two voyages.
Elita first sailed with the trust in 2016, before taking part in the fifth leg of Round Britain 2017, sailing from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, the length of which – 122 miles – is the inspiration for her challenge.
She said: “I love absolutely every minute of the trust trips. The people are always so great and it’s lovely being with people who just get what it’s like to have cancer. It’s no big deal, it’s just normal. You can talk about it if you want, or just enjoy not having to talk about it or think about it for a while.
“I have made great friends through the trust and they really helped me when I had my relapse 18 months ago. The first person I told about it was a girl I’d met on a trust trip. I just knew she would understand and get how I was feeling.”
Elita added: “I wanted to raise money for the trust to try and help them just a little bit, because they have helped me so much.
“I want as many children and young people as possible who’ve had cancer to get to experience these amazing trips and be helped by them.
“The timing of this fundraiser is perfect too as it will be five years exactly on September 30 since my cancer journey began. I hope to finish my cycle challenge that day and celebrate still being alive.”
To find out more and to support the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust visit www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org.