A 22-year-old woman from Kinlochleven in Argyll, who had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, has taken part in an inspirational sailing experience with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust which saw her make a brief stop in Port Bannatyne, Bute.
Kathleen Maclean, who finished cancer treatment in April 2008 at the Beatson Cancer Centre in Glasgow, joined the crew of one of three yachts to sail around the Firth of Clyde from Largs, North Ayrshire recently, in a four-day yacht adventure.
Kathleen, plus five other girls, set sail from Largs, North Ayrshire on June 24, with the young people spending three nights sleeping on board the boats. The trip navigated the waters of the Firth of Clyde, which took them to various stop-overs including Port Bannatyne, before sailing on to the National Sailing Centre at Great Cumbrae and then back to Largs giving the young people the opportunity to test their new skills on the water.
After the trip, Kathleen explained what the opportunity meant to her: “I’ve never been sailing before so was really nervous before! I’m not good with meeting new people normally but we had barbeques and water-fights everything has been really good fun. It was so nice to meet other people who have been through similar experiences. Everyone I know, that is my age, can’t really understand, but you can talk about anything here.
“The trip has taught me so much I don’t even know how to describe it. I just want to stay.”
This is the first year the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has run a sailing trip in Scotland, having set up their Scottish hub in early 2013 thanks to funding from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.