A father with a terminal illness is enjoying the holiday of a lifetime with his wife and children after months of fundraising.
Colin Ketteringham, 50, of Daisy Court, Bourne, suffers from the degenerative condition multiple system atrophy and has been told he has less than three years to live.
Colin was determined to give his wife Louise, 36, their children George, eight, twins Jack and Chloe, seven, and Harry, 18 months, and Colin’s children Ben, 25, and Emma, 26, a holiday to remember while he still could.
In May Colin decided to start raising funds to take his family to Walt Disney World in Florida.
We featured Colin’s appeal in the Mercury and after an incredible outpouring of support from readers, businesses and charities, he was able to reach his target last month. And yesterday (Thursday) Colin and his family jetted off to Florida to start their three week holiday of a lifetime.
Speaking on Tuesday, Colin said: “I will be pleased when I am in the car going. We have got a limo to go down to Gatwick in, which a friend donated, so we will be arriving in style. The kids know it’s their last day at school. Their nan and grandad gave them $50 spending money each. Now they just want to get out there.
“It will be the first time at a theme park for them. It’s their first time on a plane as well, so they are buzzing.”
Colin’s fundraising was kick-started with the help of the Bourne and District Lions Club, which set up the Ketteringham Holiday of a Lifetime Fund.
He needed to raise more than £9,000 for the trip and was given a huge boost when the Bourne Round Table donated £4,000. Friends and family also helped the cause. School friend Daryn White, of Spalding Road, Bourne, organised a darts night at the Burghley Arms and Colin’s wife Louise and other family members took part in a sponsored Skydive.
The fund was approaching £7,500 when the Ketteringhams were invited to appear on ITV’s This Morning.
Colin was reduced to tears when presenters Kate Thornton and John Barrowman revealed holiday firm Thompson had agreed to make up the difference and send the family to Florida.
Colin booked his dream holiday just days before a high-risk operation to reduce his pain.
He said at the time that knowing the holiday was booked gave him a huge boost before he went into surgery.
Speaking this week, he thanked everyone who helped him and added: “I am very much looking forward to the holiday. It will give the kids some great memories.”