Inspirational Feedback From Fiona

05 September 2007

The respite trips offered by Sail 4 Cancer can have an immediate and positive affect on people who are living with cancer.  Cancer doesn’t just affect the person with the diagnosis but the whole family unit.

Below is a letter we received from one of our beneficiaries.  Thank you Fiona for sharing this with us.  We are delighted that we could help you during your recovery and we look forward to welcoming you back out on the water at some point in the near future!

“Dear Sail 4 Cancer

Thank you so much for the sailing day on the Solent (Monday 27 August).  It was a lovely sunny day as Emma had “ordered” in the instructions we received.  Steve and I met Emma wearing her distinctive “Sail 4 Cancer” jacket so it helped me to feel at ease.

Hamble is a lovely place and the sea was so calm it helped make me feel completely relax.  Two others joined Emma, myself and Steve (my fiance) and we soon got chatting away.

When you live with breast lumps like I have whether they be benign or cancerous the whole scenario becomes scary.  This is where my website comes into play.  I offer support when people have just found a lump and want advice on what to do as they think they are burdening their GP.  Once in contact with me they soon pluck up courage and go and get checked.

The day that Sail 4 Cancer provided took me away from all of the stresses and strains the illness has such as financial worries.

For example, insurance worries due to not being able to get life/health insurance which in turn means people like me cannot obtain a mortgage. Travel insurance is another major issue with huge excesses for people like me.

What Sail 4 Cancer does is give people like me a chance to unwind and chill out and to try something I would never have dreamed of doing.

Emma knew I was not able to do a lot as my left side is basically useless following the operation and I was not the only one in this scenario. Emma discovered our strengths and weaknesses before we set sail.  Needless to say the men had the harder tasks of dealing with sails and clutches.

Tim the skipper was wonderful and put everyone at ease.  He was impressed that we were all talking before we got on board and was surprised we had only met that morning.

We were each given an opportunity to do something to help.  I couldn’t believe it when I was told by Emma I could drive the boat!  I think all of us had a go at that. Emma made it special for me as this was one of the only things I could do due to the lack of dexterity in my left arm and I had near 2 hours on the helm. To start with my knuckles were white and everyone laughed when this was commented on. I even said to Tim “You know what they say about women drivers”!  One thing this illness does is it gives everyone a sense of humour.  It is the only way to cope.

On meeting others with similar experiences, it makes a real difference because you remember that you are not alone.  I try to give Steve and “me” time together; this day allowed us to leave our worries on the dock.

It’s the partners that take the brunt of this illness as they worry so much and can’t do a lot to help as we are in the hands of the hospital professionals.  The Sail 4 Cancer experience gave Steve and I quality time together and we really enjoying doing something we have never done before.  I can’t thank you enough for what you gave me that day.

I am completely relaxed for the first time in six months.  The weather being nice was an added bonus.  The company on the boat was wonderful.

One thing for sure is that I feel able to cope better than I did before I went sailing.  My confidence has grown massively.  If I can drive a massive boat, I can do anything!  I was getting stressed being stuck indoors nearly 24 hours a day.

I am coping much better with my debts and when creditors phone I am not so stressed out.

This experience means so much more than I can put into words.

Thank you all once again for the opportunity to go sailing!

Kind regards,


Inspirational Feedback From Fiona
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