21 July 2021

My Life Now - meet Biomedical Scientist Macy

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. Macy used her experience to pursue a fullfilling career that will help others in the future...

Macy sailing with the Trust Name: Macy Boyling

Age: 20

Pronouns: She/her

Diagnosis/year: Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), 2006-2008

When did you first sail with the Trust: I first sailed with the Trust in 2013

What do you do now: : BSc Biomedical Science at the University of Surrey

Why did you do want to do this? I decided to carry out a degree within biomedical science in secondary school/college, when I was deciding on the path I wanted to take with my future.

I knew I wanted to do something medical-based, which would allow me to expand my knowledge on both the cancer I had and the cancers my friends have had, but at the same time also being able to give back to research and hard work which helped me with my treatment.

Even potentially, one day being able to help someone in the future, who may be going through treatment in a more improved, refined and less invasive manner.

What's the coolest thing you've done lately? This is hard as so much has gone on with the pandemic over the last year, but the coolest thing I'd say I’ve recently done is start working at the university’s asymptomatic testing site as a tester. It's pretty cool knowing you are doing your part within the pandemic and in the future knowing I played a part in making a slight difference during this time.

Macy in PPE at work

Why did you need the Trust's support in recovery?

I think as I experienced cancer at such a young age, as I was going through treatment, I just got on with it as I didn’t totally understand what was going on. Until I felt as if I got a massive slap in the face, when I was about 13 and what I had experienced hit me.

This then meant cancer was still consuming my life even though I didn’t have it anymore, but I just saw myself as cancer whose name was Macy.

When I came to the Trust, I finally felt like I wasn’t the only person in the world who had gone through the experience of cancer and the Trust gave a safe space of being able to talk about cancer without it being seen as a dirty word.

The Trust allowed me to become Macy again, who had cancer, and allowed me to accept that cancer no longer defined me. With that I found my confidence excelled.

What part has the Trust played in you doing what you are now?
Seeing how much everyone at the Trust loved doing what they did really showed me the importance of doing something which is going to make you smile every day. As well as consolidating my love for helping people, seeing what the Trust does made me want to help people even more.

What's your top tip for young people interested in working in your industry? Firstly, don’t shut yourself off to any opportunity you are being offered, because you never know what's around the corner and there is no harm in trying. You’ll either love it or you’ll hate it - I would describe these experiences like Marmite!

Secondly, never be scared to ask for help. You’ve already experienced one of the scariest things you could possibly go through, everyone around you is there to help and ensure you can be the best you can be.

Lastly, it’s okay to get into this line of work and not know what you want to do, there are so many options that your mind can change all the time. But if you are enjoying what you do, you’ll be able to take on anything!