Return trip for teen survivor

Luton teenager and cancer survivor Jermaine Alexander
Luton teenager and cancer survivor Jermaine Alexander

A Luton teenager who’s survived a rare form of cancer – Synovial Sarcoma – spent an inspirational four days sailing, canoeing, cycling and power-kiting at Essex Outdoors Centre (EOA), thanks to Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and the People’s Postcode Lottery.

It’s the third time Jermaine Alexander, 16, of Sundon Park, has received an invitaton from the charity. In 2013 he tried sailing for the first time and last year took part in the Round the Island Race with the charity.

The former Lealands High pupil – now at Luton Sixth Form College – joined 32 other young people recovering from cancer,.

He said: “We’re all in the same boat, meeting people who understand you.

“The confidence it gave me encouraged me to start my own YouTube channel.”
He and a few friends wanted to see how far it would go. “Not very,” he admitted, sheepishly. “But we’re still pursuing it, more as a hobby.”

Jermaine’s mother Catherine Barmoi, who works at Luton Airport, said her son had had two ribs removed in November 2012 when he was diagnosed with the cancer that affects only one to three people in a million and is more common in young males.

“It was a hard time for all of us,” she recalled. “It took a long time to get the correct diagnosis.”

EOA – a coastal residential centre on the Blackwater River estuary – offers a range of land and water-based activities to help build confidence in young cancer survivors aged between eight and 18.