Fundraiser launches to get terminally ill man to Glastonbury by helicopter

The friends of a terminally ill man have launched a fundraising campaign to help him attend the Glastonbury festival next week.

Nigel Stonehouse, 58, from Hartlepool, was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer, which has now spread to his lungs. After receiving the terminal diagnosis, his friends wanted to fulfil his “dying wish” of attending the festival for a final time.

The former bricklayer, described by his friends as a “festival veteran”, has been going to Glastonbury for the last 30 years, and has watched headliners such as the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Johnny Cash perform.

He had been due to go to this week, but can no longer travel for long without medical help, so friends have launched a fundraiser to pay for a helicopter to fly him there from North Tees hospital.

Speaking to PA news agency, Maria Beggs, one of the organisers of the fundraiser, said Stonehouse was “feeling positive” and that the support had “given him a boost and something to hope for”. He was “very stubborn and determined” and was looking forward to watching Diana Ross at this year’s event, she said.

The “wonderful palliative care team have assured him that they will do all they can to make this happen,” another organiser, Lizzie Beggs, wrote on the fundraising page.

The effort has already raised £9,000 from over 500 donations towards the £12,000 cost of chartering a helicopter. Supporters including DJ Fatboy Slim, who is playing at this year’s festival, have been sharing the fundraising page on Twitter.

While they hope to “move heaven and earth” to get Stonehouse to Glastonbury, even if “just for a few hours”, his friends recognise that even if they fundraising target is met, his condition may deteriorate, meaning he could be too unwell to attend. “In which case, the funds will be donated to Glastonbury charities” states the fundraising page.


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