Blackpool family's thanks as donations help fund terminally ill man's dream trip
The family of a terminally ill man from Bispham have thanked supporters for making a dream trip to see the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone a reality.
Mum-of-two Nina Garwood had been trying to raise funds which would allow her husband Andrew, an F1 fan, to see a live race for the first time, as he has only ever watched it on TV.
She says she swallowed her pride and launched the GoFundMe appeal after 49 year old Andrew was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and been given just six months to live.
Nina, also 49, of Highcroft Avenue, had set the target at £5,000 and had managed to raise £1,500 in a bid to take the couple and their two children, 30 year old Rachael and Jason, 27. on the special holiday to see the F1.
But when the story appeared on Saturday, a magnificent response pushed the total to more than £7,000 in record time.
Among the donations was a staggeringly generous gift of £5,000 by businessman Peter Swann, who is well known in Blackpool for his project, the Sands Venue Resort Hotel.
Peter saw the story on the Gazette website and read that Nina and Andrew had first met at the old Palace nightclub, his former enterprise before he developed it into the Sands.
The businessman was so moved he immediately donated the huge sum, pushing the amount raised well over the £5,000 target.
But Nina wanted to thank everyone who donated towards the trip to the famous Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in Northamptonshire, on July 16-18.
She said: “The response has been brilliant, i just can’t thank everyone enough.
“It means we can afford to buy the tickets and pay for the hotel while we are over there. I can’t believe we have done it.
“Peter Swann is a lovely man, he has made such a difference.”
And businessman Peter, who is also chairman of Scunthorpe United FC, said: “I was just happy I could help.
“I do support the charity Cancer Research and many other charities and this time it was nice to help someone directly rather than just the charities as a whole.”
The couple first met at the Palace as 17 year olds and next year is their 30th wedding anniversary, a poignant milestone given Andrew’s health.
But for now, the family are trying to stay postive and are desperately happy about the fundraising success.
Jason said on the GoFundMe page: “We did it! ❤I just wanted to first offer my utmost thanks to every one of you who have so far donated to this cause; my dad is over the moon with the love and support shown by the community.
“We’ve had loving words from members of our extended family, friends, work colleagues and even strangers at large who have been touched by our story.
“Thanks to your selfless generosity, I can now confirm that we’ve hit our goal and should be able to make the trip to the British Grand Prix this July – pending we can get our hands on those valuable and elusive tickets! I would like to thank everyone who donated as every penny counted, so whether you donated big or small,
“However, I would like to personally offer my absolute thanks to Peter Swann, who may now just be the second most important man in my life - behind Dad of course!”