Harrogate teenager who survived leukaemia embraces outdoors with Ellen McArthur Cancer Trust after long lockdown left her with bad anxiety

A teenage leukaemia survivor from Yorkshire has spoken of how lockdown impacted her mental health after finally getting back outdoors.

Teenage cancer survivor Tegan Rae, from Harrogate

Tegan Rae, from Harrogate, was just six-years-old when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

The 13-year-old, like every other youngster, was stuck indoors for months last year and the beginning of this year due to coronavirus, and spoke of how lockdown increased her anxiety and insecurities.

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Now the teenager has said "it feels good to be back outside and socialise again" after a post-lockdown trip to the Lake District with other young people who have or have survived cancer.

Tegan Rae with friends from Ellen McArthur Cancer Trust

Tegan spent five days of gorge walking, high ropes, wind surfing and much more with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust last week after being one of 19 children from across the UK to spend the week at the Water Park Lakeland Adventure centre in the Lake District.

The Ellen McArthur Cancer Trust works with young cancer patients and encourages them to take up sailing, after it was founded by British yacht champion Dame Ellen McArthur, as well as other activities.

Tegan said: “Lockdown was stressful and gave me lots of anxiety, but this week has been really fun, exciting and joyful.

“It feels good to be back with the Trust because you’re meeting people that you may have met before and it’s good to socialise.

“I had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia which made me feel insecure about myself. The Trust made me understand that you can talk to people about what you’ve gone through.

“Everyone here has been through the same thing as you, so they understand whereas other people don’t really get it.”

A spokeswoman for the Trust said: "The isolation, loneliness and anxiety experienced by young people with cancer has been massively amplified by Covid and lockdown.

"That is why they need the Trust more than ever right now. This year Children in Need generously provided funding to support young people aged 8 – 17 residing in England, Wales and Northern Ireland."