19 October 2023

My Life Now - meet Dylan

It’s been 20 years since the Trust first set sail – what are the young people who have been on trips up to now? Our 'My Life Now' series shows a positive future after cancer is a reality. Dylan has his sights set on joining the police force after the Trust gave him the confidence to look towards his future.

Dylan helming the boat with the beatiful Scottish scenery in the background and a big smile on his faceName: Dylan Westgarth

Age: 21

Diagnosis/year: I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in August 2017, after months of suffering from knee pain. After three and a half years of treatment, I finished in December 2020.

When did you first sail with the Trust? The first time I sailed with the Trust was the summer of 2019, whilst on treatment, then again summer 2022.

What do you do now? I currently attend university at CU Scarborough, and I am doing a degree in Professional Policing, which is one of the two ways into the police. I chose this route as it gives me three years to improve my fitness after treatment.

Explain what that means? I have always wanted to be in the police, for as long as I can remember.

Why did you want to do this? Beating cancer has made me more determined to achieve my goals and has made me realise I can overcome barriers I face to achieve these goals.

A selfie of Dylan smiling wearing a blue life Jackey and Navy Musto coat with the sea behind himWhat’s the coolest thing you’ve done lately? Something cool I have done recently was taking on the Great North Run for charity. To raise money, I did a bake sale at university, which involved baking for the full day beforehand.

I also recently spent the weekend at Bradwell learning what it takes to become a Trust volunteer and I can't wait to return and help out on trips next summer.

Why did you need the Trust’s support in recovery? The Trust supported me during recovery as it helped me to meet new people who have been through similar experiences as me, and provided me with a support network for any advice I may need.

What part has the Trust played in you doing what you do now? The Trust provided me with the confidence to be myself around others, and gave me the confidence to share my story with others. From this, I have managed to be myself around others, and not feel as though I'm hiding things.

What’s your top tip for other young people? One thing I would say to anyone wanting to go to university would be to speak to others if you have any concerns. There are often many members of staff you can talk to if you face any challenges, and it is often quite easy to make friends with your peers.