16 December 2021

My Life Now - meet Largs to Cowes rider Holly

It’s been 18 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. The confidence gained through the Trust inspired Holly to take on new challenges.

Holly wearing a blue helmet and Trust hoodie on a climbing wall during volunteer trainingName: Holly Hudson

Age: 21

Pronouns: She/her

Diagnosis/year: Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

When did you first sail with the Trust: 2013

What do you do now:

I study Creative Advertising at the University of Lincoln and work part time at a pub.

Why did you do want to do this?

Being outside with nature is when I feel most myself and most inspired, which makes me more creative.

What's the coolest thing you've done lately?

Sign up for the Largs to Cowes 'Brighter Futures' Cycle Challenge. I started sailing with the Trust in 2013, when I was 13, and I’ve been going back every year. Then I became a volunteer when I was 19, and I’ve always wanted to do something big for charity. I haven’t really been a cyclist, so I thought, you know what, it’s a big challenge and the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust means a huge deal to me. So it’d be lovely to actually give back and help people who need the help like I did.

Holly pulling lines on a Trust sailing boat with the Solent sea in the backgroundWhy did you need the Trust's support in recovery?

I struggled to socialise normally after treatment and the Trust bought normality back to my life and allowed me to find the confidence in myself again. This year when I first started volunteering for the Trust again it felt incredible. It was just almost like being back with the family as such. Honestly it was brilliant.

I wouldn’t have the confidence I have today if I hadn’t been on these trips, and I’ll be forever grateful for that.

What part has the Trust played in you doing what you are now?

The doctors and nurses in hospital were all really lovely, but after treatment finishes, that's it, it is like you are just on the edge of a cliff afterwards. The Trust builds a bridge, so you don't go over the edge. On the trip, they help you get to know other people and build your confidence up, they also helped to build my independence.

While you are on treatment, it is hard to live normally. The Trust has changed my life and helped me truly find who I want to be. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for the Trust team.

What's your top tip for young people interested in working in your industry? Pick up that pencil and draw, anyone can be an artist.

Join Holly and the 'Brighter Futures' Tribe in the Largs to Cowes Cycle Challenge next year. Find out more and sign up HERE.