Donating my hair, Clipper 17/18 finish and more!

About 3 weeks ago I had a spur of the moment decision just to cut off all my hair, so I did! I kept having a dream where I would be on a Clipper yacht with all my hair flying about and it would get caught up in all the rope. To be honest I don’t think this would happen, but I don’t fancy being a flag half way up the mast. Anyway, I made this verdict but also realised that my hair was long enough to donate to the Little Princess Trust. This charity makes wigs for under 25’s who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments and other illnesses. Isn’t it mad to think that someone I walk past in the street could have a

IMG_20180714_210922_591IMG_20180714_210922_587wig on made from my hair!

On the left or right (who knows, I can never get the pictures in the right place) you can see the transformation from long hair Sophie to very short hair Sophie and the hair I donated.

After just 12 hours from coming home from spending a week in Wales (my sister is working with the RNLI there for the summer) me and my mum headed up to Liverpool

on Friday for the Clipper 2017/18 race finish. Most of the hotels were fully booked but we ended up in a hotel called 46 above a bar which surprisingly turned out to be quite nice. On Saturday morning we had a boat trip booked to watch the Clipper 70’s come into

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Liverpool docks. But of course, it was late, so we watched them arrive waiting in a queue. When we got on the boat it absolutely tipped it down, but we had an amazing view of the yachts as they paraded in the harbour even getting just a few meters away. It was beautiful to see how emotional the family members and friends were watching their loved ones come home after s

 

ome had been away for 11 months. I still can’t believe I will be sailing one of those yachts in just 1 year and I don’t think the weather in Liverpool will compare at all to some of the legs such as the Southern Ocean.

That evening I was invited to a party at the Revolution bar in the Albert docks for members of the 2019/20 crew. Since I am only 16, I can’t say I have ever experienced a bar/club after 9.00pm but it was a great

20180729_121701.jpgexperience and I met loads of other people on the race, including some round-the-worlders like me. The next morning, we also got the chance to go aboard one of the yachts that just docked; it was surprising how basic and small they are for a crew of 20.

 

In just 4 days (I’m writing this on Monday) I will start my training aboard one of the old Clipper 68’s. I am so excited for this experience and even met some people doing training the same week as me when I was in Liverpool. In preparation for this I am starting a YouTube channel where I will be posting videos very soon! You can find a link on this website in the near future.

 

Still no luck on the sponsorship ☹, any ideas comment on the ‘contact me’ section.

Byeeeee,

Sophie
xxxx

Scoliosis Awarness day

For a few months I have been wanting to raise awareness for scoliosis as it has affected my life so much. If you don’t know, I underwent scoliosis surgery in 2016 to correct a 60-degree curve in my spine. I now know that if it was caught earlier I may have not had to undergo the surgery that had a massive impact on my life. Also, when I was diagnosed I had never heard of the condition and was extremely scared for the future. To prevent anyone from feeling this way and hopefully be diagnosed early I am trying to raise awareness of the symptoms and assure people that the future is bright. I also hope by sailing around the world I can inspire any scoliosis suffers that anything is possible even with the condition.

See the source image

Last Thursday (28/06/18) we held a scoliosis awareness day at school (Southam College) to teach students about the condition, its symptoms and how to cope with it. This included a quiz that all students took part in during morning tutor and I ran a stall at lunch and break. Loads of students were very interested but many of them had never heard of the condition that affects around 3% of the population. In the following weeks we are sending a letter out to parents on how to diagnose Scoliosis. I am also hoping to run assemblies to share my story and inspire others.

 

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Many thanks to Mr Samra (head teacher), Mrs Bradburn and Mr Bradbury for helping me to organise this awarness day.

 

My Scoliosis Story

At the age of 13 (February 2015) I was diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis following worsening back pain. I was immediately sent for a full spinal X-ray which confirmed that I had a right thoracic curvature of 53°. From this point my pain worsened significantly and I was put on a variety of strong medications including Oromorph, Tramadol and Gabapentin. I missed a lot school and stopped all my sporting activities which included trampolining for which competed at a regional level. The medication meant I was very drowsy and I remember very little during this period.

A year later after attending pain clinics, visiting many specialists, undergoing more x-rays and an MRI scan, I was finally sent a letter for my pre-op assessment. At this point my curvature had increased to 6X-rays0° and I was in an increasing amount of pain. On the 24th of February 2016 I had T4-L2 posterior correction scoliosis surgery with bone graft at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, this meant that a large metal rod was inserted down the majority of my spine, as you can see from the X-rays to the left.

Even after my surgery, the next year was tough as I was going through my GCSE’s and was still on very high doses of medication. However, this didn’t stop me from getting exceptional grades in my exams and returning to trampolining after being giving the all clear from my doctor.

I am now a 6th form student looking to study medicine in the future, to help others like me lead a normal and exciting life. I have also just returned to competing in trampolining.

SAUK logoSAUK (Scoliosis Association UK) has helped me massively through this incredibly difficult period of time by giving me a massive support network of people to talk to and BSRF logoreassuring stories to read. They didn’t just help me but also my parents and sister as this was also a very stressful and challenging time for them. On the race I hope to spread awareness of the challenge thousands of teenagers are going through every year. I also want to help SAUK to keep helping many families around the country this is why all funds I receive above my berth and training fees will go directly to the charity and BSRF which funds research into scoliosis. I hope my influence can have an impact on many peoples lives with the condition around the UK.

In 2020 Sophie Cross will cross the finish line of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race as the youngest ever female crew member. Support her cause and follow her story here!