Omar's Story

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"I’m the kind of person who might keep themselves bottled up, but now, I’m opening my bottle, slowly."

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I was studying for my GCSE exams when I was diagnosed, so it was really tough.

I had to spend a lot of time in hospital and missed out on a lot. It was difficult seeing all my friends doing activities and stuff I couldn't do.

The first day of my trip, I was really quiet, I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. But the volunteers and skippers explain it all to you, and there are all the people who have had the same illness as you.

The friendships and bonds you make with them calmed my nerves a lot.

Sailing with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust really helped me. Before, I wasn’t much of a confident person. I wasn’t good at public speaking or anything. But this four-day trip made me more confident.

I’m the kind of person who might keep themselves bottled up, I don’t talk about my feelings to anyone.

But the trip made me open up more. I used to be really reserved, but now, I realised there is support out there.

Now, I’m opening my bottle, slowly.

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Ellen and George

"The people here don’t judge. You can let your emotions out."

Male friends don’t really sit down and have long conversations about what they’re going through.

We don’t talk about the issue, we just make jokes and have a laugh about it. On the trip, there’s more to it, you get to talk to someone and open up.

Spending four days on a boat with people that have similar experiences allowed us to really bond.

I find other people that haven’t had cancer can treat you differently, but everyone here understands what it’s like and the barriers it can have.

The people here don’t judge. You can let your emotions out.

People think once you finish your treatment you’re fine. You’re not fine. You’re not mentally there. You don’t know if your cancer could come back during remission.

We need support.

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