26 October 2021
Roisin Smith, 23, was one of the first people - and the first young person - to join the Trust Tribe and use her pedal power to inspire more young people like her to believe in a brighter future.
She first sailed with the Trust in 2017 after treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, which gave her a much-needed confidence boost before she started university. Roisin describes her cycling level an 'enthusiastic rookie', so let's hear why she decided to take the leap and sign up for such a challenge...
"Even having had cancer, it’s still easy to get swept up in life, and forget to properly enjoy it. I’ve therefore had it in my mind to take a break from education and work for a little while – a true gap year if you will. Sailing with the Trust only reinforced how important this is to me.
"One of my favourite things to read or watch is people doing epic hikes or cycles and recently I got it into my head that part of my break should be a big cycle like the one from John O’Groats to Penzance. The only issue with this is that I am hardly a pro cyclist, and I am yet to learn how to fix a puncture or change a tyre.
"I happened to be on a train a week or so after the sailing trip and was browsing Instagram stories when I came across one from the Trust – a 600-mile cycle across a large part of the UK. I couldn’t believe it – the chance to do this thing I really want to do, all whilst helping the Trust and other young people who have been so inspiring to me! I signed up there and then."
How has the Trust supported you?
"When you’re undergoing treatment, you kind of expect that once you finish, you’ll be back to normal. It takes a really really long time to find that sense of normality and it is something I still struggle with sometimes even four years on.
"The Trust trips have given me the chance to share my experiences with people who get it because they’ve lived it as well.
"Cancer can be a soul-destroying experience at any age, but especially when you’re young. Once it’s over, there is an expectation that you get on with your life – but how?
"It’s hard to put into words exactly the effect that these trips have had on me, but each time I have been, I have left feeling such warmth and gratitude.
"I believe recovery from cancer is a continuous journey, but I know I wouldn’t be in anywhere near as good a place without the amazing people and adventures that make up the offering of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust."
What are you most looking forward to about the ride?
"I am looking forward to the challenge of pushing myself, sharing this experience with some amazing people and maybe getting to glance at the scenery of our glorious country every so often."
Anything else to add?
LET'S DO THIS!
Join Roisin and the Trust 'Brighter Futures' Tribe from 17-24 June 2022. Whether you're an enthusiastic rookie or fair-weather wheeler, there's plenty of time to train to take on this incredible 600-mile (965km) challenge between our bases in Largs, Scotland and Cowes, Isle of Wight, to help raise funds and awareness to inspire MORE young people like Roisin to believe in a brighter future.