A father has thanked all those who donated time and money to help him take his family on a three-week dream holiday to Florida.
Colin Ketteringham, 51, of Daisy Court, Bourne, pledged to take his family on holiday after he was diagnosed with the degenerative condition multiple system atrophy and told he had less than three years to live.
Colin began raising funds in May with the help of the Bourne and District Lions Club, who set up the Ketteringham Holiday of a Lifetime Fund.
The Mercury backed Colin’s appeal and after donations from a range of individuals and organisations he reached his target and was able to take his wife Louise, 36, and six children to Florida last month.
The family returned home on Friday after visiting Walt Disney World, the Epcot Centre and many more attractions.
Colin was grateful to all those who had donated to make his holiday a reality.
He said: “I can’t thank everyone enough for what they have done and raised to get us out there.”
Colin said one of the highlights was swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove.
“It was an absolute paradise,” he said.
“They had a lazy river which runs around the site which I could use quite well.
“There was a lagoon where you could swim with 6ft rays. The kids just loved it.
“They had white sandy beaches and we all swam with a dolphin named Akai.
“He was such a gentle creature and was wonderful to be with.”
Colin was not able to spend as much time at Walt Disney World because of the queues, and he only learned he could get a disabled access pass towards the end of the trip.
But luckily the family found plenty of other fun activities to take part in.
One of Colin’s personal highlights was an airboat trip through the Florida Everglades.
He said: “It’s something I have always wanted to do. The kids loved looking for the alligators.
“We saw a 15ft alligator and the captain had a bit of a scare when I stood up. He thought I was going to fall in, so had to grab me and pull me back down.
“To see all the animals in their natural environment made our day.”
The family has some money left over from the holiday, which Colin plans to donate to the Royal British Legion.
He added: “They helped me and I think with it being Poppy Appeal time it will be nice to give something back.