Abi first sailed with the aged 14 in 2007 after treatment for a Ewing’s Sarcoma. Still involved as a volunteer, she admits she owes her career to the confidence she re-gained through her long-term relationship with the Trust.
I wouldn’t be a dietician if I hadn’t got the confidence I’ve gained through the Trust.
“When I was on treatment I shut myself off and didn’t want to speak to anyone. Spending so much time in hospital left me little chance to socialise. I closed myself off from friends, lost many and was scared to make new ones.
“I was so shy I was close to pulling out of my first Trust trip because I couldn’t face meeting new people. I am unbelievably glad I didn’t. That trip transformed me.
“The Trust opened my eyes to what was out there, you meet so many people and I made friends for life. It was good to meet people and volunteers on the trips who were a bit older and were just cracking on with everything too. It made me think ‘yeh I want to do my GCSEs and do well’ so I could be that person in the future.
“It spurs you on and gives you the motivation to get through it because everyone else is. I realised I could go and do anything I wanted, instead of looking at your school subjects and thinking ‘I can only be this.’
“After that first trip I came home and couldn’t stop talking about it. I had the best time and gained so much confidence in a matter of days.
“I wouldn’t be a dietician if I hadn’t got the confidence I’ve gained through the Trust. I speak to 20 different patients a day and if you don’t have the ability to go up to someone and start talking to them you can’t do the job.
Meet me when I was 12 and you would never have thought I could do that.”