Trustee Biographies

James McNaught – Founder

James founded Cancer On Board after experiencing difficulty on public transport during treatment for throat cancer. His struggles with the daily journey to UCLH for chemo and radiotherapy, combined with gradually losing his voice, were the inspiration for the badge.

He works as a Doorkeeper in the House of Lords, controlling access to the chamber and ensuring that proceedings run smoothly. Formerly a keen cyclist and long-distance runner, he took part in many long-distance races, including the Marathon des Sables through the Sahara Desert. He hopes to be able to take part in endurance events again, as soon as his health allows. He is also an army reservist, with experience of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He is still a cancer patient, under observation rather than receiving treatment. Sooner or later he hopes to be confirmed as cancer free.

Katie Ruane

Katie become involved with Cancer On Board as she lives with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia and doesn’t look like a ‘normal’ cancer patient. Since her diagnosis aged 22 she has completed a History of Art degree at the University of Edinburgh. She then moved to London worked and as a PA before going to the University of Westminster to complete another degree in Complementary Medicine: Naturopathy. Katie then set up her business, Harley Street Naturopath, and works as a Naturopathic Physician.

Cancer doesn’t define Katie, but it is always there; having a badge making it easier to get a seat on the tube makes life a little bit easier.

Helena Traill

Helena got to know James and the Cancer On Board team in 2019 when she started 100 Stories, a book containing a hundred stories of people affected by cancer and a project trying to normalise the cancer conversation through online communities. Helena’s father has been living with two brain tumours for over 20 years and her grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2019.

As a graphic designer, Helena is using her skill to tell stories and try to make a real difference. She is starting a Masters of Research in Healthcare and Design later this year at the Royal College of Art (joint with Imperial University) where Helena will be exploring how digital design can bridge the gap between physical and mental wellbeing.