Cancer sufferer to sail round Britain

FOUR years ago, Oliver Rofix could barely walk 10 metres without feeling weak and exhausted.

Anthony Bond

FOUR years ago, Oliver Rofix could barely walk 10 metres without feeling weak and exhausted.

The former Woodbridge School pupil was undergoing the most intensive chemotherapy after being diagnosed with an extremely rare and as yet undiagnosed Leukaemia at the age of 20.

To get through the long, painful days in hospital, he would imagine himself on his boat on the river in Aldeburgh, with his mates and a pint of Adnams.

In May next year, he will take this ambition even further in a bid to raise money and awareness for The Anthony Nolan Trust.

Oliver, who lives in Clopton, near Woodbridge, will sail his boat, the Jolly Olly, alone around the coastline of Britain. During the six-month trip, he is hoping to meet other young people from around the country who have been affected by cancer.

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“My personal reason in doing this is to give something back to the people that helped me. I want to raise enough money so that somebody else can have another transplant. I have always wanted to go off and sail around Britain and I bought this boat just before the transplant, it was my goal to get better. It has now turned into this big fundraising challenge that The Anthony Nolan Trust want to do.”

Oliver, who used to work at the Port of Felixstowe, is now in remission after receiving bone marrow from a donor three days after his 21st birthday in March 2006.

Before his illness he was extremely fit and had enjoyed water-skiing, as well as climbing and running up Snowdon. But following his illness, he has a long year of training in order to get ready for the arduous challenge he faces.

“This summer is all about training and bringing up my skills because I have not sailed solo for a long time,” he said. “It is a huge training year because having being ill, my stamina and fitness is very poor. I have just got to prepare myself to go off and do this.”

As well as raising money for The Anthony Nolan Trust, Oliver will also acknowledge CLIC Sargent and Teenage Cancer Trust.

And he has the best wishes of everybody around him who helped him through his illness.

“Everybody is very supportive and they think it is absolutely fantastic. It is amazing how many people come out of the woodwork to help. It is absolutely brilliant. I have just got to do it safely.”

To find out more about Oliver's plans to sail around Britain, and to find contact details to donate money, visit .