Derbyshire teen recovering from cancer gets a sailing trip of a lifetime

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An Ilkeston teenager has opened up about his cancer battle as he was taken on the trip of a lifetime.

Jacob Holt 19, who is in recovery from cancer, feels more optimistic for his future after enjoying the sailing trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust off the west coast of Scotland.

Jacob had just turned 18 when he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma of the prostate – a rare cancer which usually presents itself in 2-to-3-year-olds.

During his gap year between college and university, he woke up “quite seriously ill, unpleasantly and painfully ill” in the middle of the night. He wound up in hospital, but it took another month until he was diagnosed.

Jacob said: “It was really scary, no one could explain what was happening,” he said. “I was in a lot of pain.”

He said things started to get better after he was diagnosed, but he had to go through six months of intensive in-patient chemotherapy followed by six weeks of daily radiotherapy.

“I was in a lot of pain, and a lot of it was the fact I didn’t know what was going on. The diagnosis was a bit of a relief.

“It was really bad, don’t get me wrong. But it was a path forward. This is what’s happened, it’s crap, but we know what we can do about it. It was worse not knowing.”

Jacob was taken on a sailing trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust off the west coast of Scotland at the beginning of July.

The trust takes young people between the ages of 8-24 on sailing trips around the world which help them to rebuild their confidence after cancer treatment.

Jacob found being around people who had gone through experiences similar to him on the Largs sailing trip to be of huge benefit:

“I think other people can be there for you and sympathise with you, especially if they’re quite close to you, they understand what you’re going through, but it’s just so special to be able to sit down with someone and have a laugh about a drug you’ve been on, or the fact that doctors behave in a certain way.” Visit www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org