MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN 2021 WITH THE ELLEN MACARTHUR CANCER TRUST
ABOUT THE ELLEN MACARTHUR CANCER TRUST
For many young people, picking up from where they left off before cancer is not possible. The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust inspires people aged 8-24 to believe in a brighter future through sailing and outdoor activity. When treatment ends our work begins.
The annual Musto Tee Design competition gives young people living through and beyond cancer the chance to creatively showcase - using visuals, words or both - the difference the Trust makes to them. The winning entry features on the back of the following year’s Trust tee, worn by all young people and the Trust team on their trips.
The 2021 tee competition was a bit different. Usually young people spend time working on their design on our trips or at home afterwards. But with COVID halting all Trust trips last year, Musto tees were sent in the post with an invitation to design during lockdown. This didn’t stop the entries rolling in and the judging panel had a tough job choosing a winner.
The Musto team bringing the design to life.
It was huge congratulations to Alysia Rea from Northern Ireland, whose awesome design is on this summer’s Trust tee.
Alysia, 21, has diamond blackfan anemia, a rare bone marrow failure disorder. Diagnosed at 11, her teenage years were tough as she missed school and rarely met anyone her age who was going through similar challenges. That was until Alysia set sail on her first Trust trip in Largs, Scotland in 2018. Leaving her ‘own little bubble behind’ she finally met other young people who had experienced similar situations. For the first time Alysia no longer felt alone.
Our winner Alysia! Alysia’s winning design in CAD form.
The words in Alysia’s design captured the essence of the Trust and the togetherness of the community, which especially shone throughout the pandemic last year. The instant bonds and friendships Alysia formed on her first sailing trip were her design inspiration:
“You start the trip off as strangers and the next day you are all working as a team on the boat. The three hands in my design represent how the Trust brings people together. You become almost like a family on these trips.”
Alysia was “overjoyed” when she found out her design had been chosen. To have her design worn by every young person during the Trust trips will be a huge honour:
“When I submitted my idea for the shirt design I honestly didn't expect anything to come of it. I had been struggling during lockdown and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to take my mind off things and remind myself of the amazing times I've had on the trips!”
Now, with COVID seeing last year’s trips cancelled, Alysia is looking ahead and feeling excited to be playing her part in bringing young people back together on the water in 2021:
“This year more than ever, young people need that time to connect and link up with others that have been through similar experiences. I hope everyone can relate to my design and build connections with other young people that last way beyond the duration of the trip.”
Alysia enjoying her first trip with the Trust in Largs.
STAYING SAFE IN THE SUN
The Trust prioritises sun safety. Everyone who goes on a Trust trip - from young people, to volunteers, skippers and staff - is kitted out with UPF 50 protection, long-sleeve Evolution Musto tees and caps, protecting their skin from direct sun exposure.
Skin cancer is a common form of secondary cancer in young people who have undergone treatment like radiation or chemotherapy. Radiotherapy and many drugs used in cancer treatment increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. So it’s really important the young people can trust in the clothing they are wearing to protect them.
Dr Dave Hobin is a Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the Trust's medical advisor. He explains: “Most of the young people the Trust supports will be particularly sensitive to UV due to their previous treatment and being out on the water increases this exposure due to reflection of UV from the water.
“It doesn’t have to be a bright, swelteringly hot sunny day to be at risk of sunburn, so we are very serious about protecting the young people on our trips. We are very grateful to Musto for providing the long-sleeve T-shirts and caps and we make no excuse for lots of ‘nagging’ to apply sun cream at regular intervals on the trips too.”