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Cancer patient Julia Stathern of Oakham has her bucket list wish granted by strangers as they arrange a helicopter flight




A cancer patient will fulfil one of her lifelong ambitions thanks to the kindness of strangers.

Oakham woman Julia Stathem will take a helicopter flight this weekend after receiving a gift voucher from a couple she met in the pub.

The 48-year-old has terminal cancer of the oesophagus which she mentioned to the couple when they met a few months back.

Julia and Barrie Stathem with their dog Bertie (9462343)
Julia and Barrie Stathem with their dog Bertie (9462343)

She said: “We were sitting at our local pub after a dog walk and we got talking to Dave and Deb. We got onto helicopter rides and I mentioned that riding in one was something that I would love to do.”

Julia left the pub with her husband Barrie and thought no more about the conversation until an envelope arrived on her doormat with a voucher for a helicopter flight.

She said: "I couldn’t believe it. It’s never really sunk in that two people could do this. I can’t thank them enough - this is so much more than a helicopter ride.”

The gesture has given Julia a new lease of life. After a period of staying at home watching television, she is now focussing on enjoying the time she has left.

She said: “My whole outlook on life has changed. I now spend time making memories with Barrie and planning things we can do together.

"Dave and Deb have given me this chance."

Julia and Barrie have been a couple for 25 years and married three years ago.

She was diagnosed with cancer last year.

Julia said: “It’s the little things in life that make such a difference not only to my well-being but to being a wife to Barrie again."

Julia has already drawn up some more experiences for her bucket list and hopes her next adventure will be riding on the back of a motorbike.

She is also raising money for the Loros hospice in Leicester where she has received care and support since her diagnosis.

Julia said: “Loros is magical and that’s just the way I feel about it.

“For me, Loros has helped me deal with the pain, which has given me freedom; a freedom to live my life again.”

Statistics from Cancer Research UK show there are around 9,000 new cases of oesophageal cancer in the UK every year - the equivalent of 25 every day. It is the 13th most common cancer.

To find out how you can support the Loros hospice in Leicester click here.



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