Twenty years ago in 2003, Maxine set sail on the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust's first ever sailing adventure. For the Trust, this is where their story began.
Two decades later, the Trust have brought Maxine and Dame Ellen MacArthur back together to catch up on Maxine's, and what their sailing trip meant to each other.
Watch the emotional reunion below...
Maxine & Ellen's heartwarming reunion
Maxine stepped onboard with Dame Ellen aged just ten having been diagnoses with Ewing sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer. Now aged 30, Maxine can reflect on how her time onboard helped regain belief that there was a life outside of her treatment.
"The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust gives you back a bit of your personality. School was on pause, so my life was just treatment."
"You go on a trip, have this new experience, learn all different kinds of things and you’re able to share that. Now there was another layer to my life that wasn’t about cancer, it was about silliness and fun."
“Because I was a child, I didn’t necessarily recognise the positive changes that were happening to me immediately. It’s something you look back on and realise there has been a profound transformation. I don’t know if I can quantify how the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has impacted my life now, but there’s no doubt that it has.”
The impact of the shared adventure
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, which sails out of Largs Yacht Haven, inspires young people to believe in a brighter future after their treatment ends. Despite countless trips, adventures and young people the Trust have supported, the very first sailing trip holds a special place for Dame Ellen.
"The memory of Maxine on that trip remains one of the most vibrant of all the Trust trips I’ve been on."
"When she arrived, she was so fearful of doing anything. She almost seemed brittle, because she’d had such a horrific operation. I’ll never forget her telling me about it. But as the days went by, she wasn’t brittle anymore. Physically and mentally. It became about what she could do. The trip was so profound, and I was there from the moment her mum dropped her off to the moment she picked her up. I saw that transformation. It summed up everything the Trust is about, it really did."
About the Trust
The Trust inspires young people to believe in a brighter future living through and beyond cancer. Many of these young people have returned to the charity to help rebuild the lives of young people recovering the from the illness.
The Trust is split between operations in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, and Largs Yacht Haven in Ayrshire. Their boats not only sport their iconic livery, but are uniquely adapted to accommodate sailors who suffer from physical needs.