Sailing trip is big boost for brave young cancer battler
AYOUNG boy who is recovering from a rare cancer has taken a special boat trip to give him a taste of sailing.
Christopher Ainley, 10, went through months of traumatic hospital treatment after being diagnosed with rare blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome in July 2013.
His family realised something was wrong when he complained of tiredness and had large bruises which would not heal.
Tests at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital showed he had low levels of platelets and red blood cells in his blood and after months of painful waiting for Christopher and his parents Gill and Richard and brother Jack, he was diagnosed with the rare condition.
It meant his bone marrow was not working to keep his blood healthy and a search began for a suitable donor.
Christopher, who lives on Brampton Avenue and attends Bollinbrook Primary School, was lucky that four donors were found and a 22 year old German student was picked as the best fit.
Christopher had chemotherapy before the transplant and spent months in isolation after the operation. His blood gradually became normal and he was finally able to go back to school and play with his friends.
Now he has been on a four day yacht adventure with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust to give him a boost.
Record-breaking British sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur launched the trust to rebuild confidence in young people who have had cancer and leukaemia.
Christopher joined other children on a 40ft yacht on the Firth of Clyde in Scotland, making stopovers to test their skills.
He said: “It was great to meet new people on the boat and we will definitely stay in touch. I really enjoyed sailing and I’d love to sail with the trust again.”
Christopher learned how to steer, put sails up, knot tying and nautical terms on the trip.
Mum Gill said: “Christopher had a brilliant time. He found it tiring but loved meeting new people.
“He loved sailing and we’re looking for places around Macclesfield where he can do it again.
“He is very active and loves sport so it was horrible seeing him unwell.
“It was a frightening time for Christopher when he was ill but he has been so brave. We are so lucky we found a donor.
“He’s been through so much and trips like this give him a real boost, to counteract some of the bad times with happy memories.”
●● Christopher with his parents Gill and Richard and brother Jack
●● Christopher Ainley loved his sailing trip
●● At the helm