A cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy sails more than 1,800 miles around the British Isles to raise money for charity.
Olle Nash, 63, who also lost his daughter Toni to cancer, plans to complete his trip in four months to raise £ 10,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Mr Nash, of Ipswich, Suffolk, was diagnosed with incurable colon cancer in 2019 and said he would need chemotherapy every two weeks for the rest of his life to keep him in check.
However, his diagnosis hasn’t stopped him from fulfilling his desire to spend his retirement sailing.
He’s replacing intravenous chemotherapy with pill-based pills during his trip and will return home three weeks after his trip to undergo five weeks of intense radiation therapy before heading back to sea.
Mr. Nash said, “When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I didn’t ask these awkward questions like ‘What does this mean for my life?’ I just wanted to keep going.
“I had always hoped to be able to spend my retirement sailing everywhere, so I decided to combine that ambition with fundraising.”
The 63-year-old enjoyed relatively clean health until 2018, when he was diagnosed and treated for a rare condition – extra-mammary Paget’s disease, which required surgery to remove part of his colon that doctors found a growth.
Mr. Nash said, “I was told they found a cancerous tumor that had metastasized to my lymph nodes and could not be removed or cured.
“Instead, I would have chemotherapy every two weeks for the rest of my life to keep that in check.
“It was very difficult to understand and I didn’t tell my wife Lesley until I got home.
“At first I felt a sense of rejection because I almost never get sick – I don’t – but I wasn’t upset. It didn’t make a lot of sense. It was just another obstacle in life and I had no choice but to deal with it. “
The couple lost their 37-year-old daughter Toni to pancreatic cancer in 2017 and received support from Macmillan.
Mr. Nash, who has two other children, said, “I cannot praise Macmillan highly enough. Some of the sisters who treated and looked after me also looked after Toni – that means a lot. “
He started from Ipswich on May 22nd and arrived in Inverness on Wednesday, where his blood was tested at Raigmore Hospital, and will then continue to Oban and the Inner Hebrides.
Its counter-clockwise route takes two short cuts through Loch Ness and down the Caledonian Canal.
Friends and family will take turns joining the crew of the 37.6 foot Moody sailing yacht “Renegade” from 1979, which Mr. Nash will skipper and which, if everything goes according to plan, hopes to return home in September.
Lisa Wild, Area Fundraising Manager for Macmillan in Scotland said, “What an incredible challenge Olle is facing. We are certainly all impressed with his spirit and determination to sail around the UK during his treatment.
“It’s also fantastic that he is stopping off in Scotland and I am sure a lot of people will be happy to see him on his travels when he reaches berths across the country.
“Olles fundraising will go a long way towards helping people with cancer.”