Cancer battler Luke’s life on the ocean waves

Luke Proctor, 19, from St Helens has recently taken part in an inspirational sailing trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
Luke Proctor, 19, from St Helens has recently taken part in an inspirational sailing trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

Luke Proctor knows better than most that beating cancer isn’t plain sailing - but that hasn’t stopped him taking to the high seas!

The St Helens teenager, who was diagnosed with the disease two years and is now in recovery, was picked to be part of a team put together from round-the-world sailer Ellen MacArthur.

The five-day voyage saw the 19-year-old and his fellow crew members navigate the waters of the Firth of Clyde, stopping off at a number of ports at islands off the Scottish coast.

Luke, who was picked to join the crew after being treated for testicular cancer at Clatterbridge Hospital, said: “I’ve been on a boat before but never sailed, there isn’t much sailing in St Helens.”

Organised by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, Luke and 11 other young people aged between 18 and 24 were invited to embark on the nautical adventure.

Sailing onboard 48ft cruising yachts, the youngsters were able to test themselves in a safe and supportive environment where they were encouraged to work as a team and get involved in every aspect of ship life.

Luke added: “What have I not experienced? We got to drive, do all the logistics, as well as cooking and cleaning, its been fantastic.

“My favourite part was just being out on the ocean with everyone, I love the water now!

“I don’t really meet many people who have also been through cancer at home, but with this group I feel like we’re family.

“At the time, I’m not sure I wanted to go home because normal life would seem boring after this.”

The young sailors navigated the waters of the Firth of Clyde, which took them to various stopovers including Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute, before sailing on to the National Sailing Centre.

They made various stops at Isles around Scotland before docking in Largs in North Ayrshire.

Now in its 11th year, the Ellen MacArthyr Cancer Trust works with youngsters of all age who are recovering from cancer.