'It's like a hug in a box' - Helicopter delivers care packages to breast cancer patients
PUBLISHED: 15:21 22 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:31 22 January 2020
A breast cancer patient achieved a lifetime achievement of riding a helicopter which helped deliver vital comfort packages for women going through chemotherapy.
Laura Middleton-Hughes, 31, from Merrow Gardens in Eaton, who has secondary breast cancer, was one of six people on the short SaxonAir flight which dropped off 15 Little Lifts boxes to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's (NNUH) oncology department.
The charity, formed in 2017, gives boxes to women under going chemotherapy for primary and secondary breast cancer to five hospitals across Norfolk and Suffolk.
Each box contains around 27 items, from water bottles to moisturisers, which make the experience more comfortable for women as well as boosting people's emotional wellbeing.
It was the first time the boxes have been delivered by helicopter and as well as helping Mrs Middleton-Hughes tick off an activity from her bucket list, the drop marked the milestone of the 450th box being handed over to the NNUH.
Mrs Middleton-Hughes, who has been treated for an incurable form of secondary breast cancer for the past three years, said: "The helicopter ride was amazing. The Little Lifts box makes a difference when you are going through chemotherapy. It is like a hug in a box. It makes you feel looked after during a difficult time."
The former hairdresser was diagnosed with primary breast cancer aged 25 and became friends with the founder of Little Lifts - Oa Hackett - during her chemotherapy at the NNUH in 2014.
She became a beneficiary of a Little Lifts box when she went through treatment for secondary breast cancer.
Mrs Middleton-Hughes, who set-up the Secondary Sisters support group last year to help others going through incurable breast cancer, started her life is for living list featuring over 50 activities three years ago. She has so far achieved over 30 of them.
She added: "It gives me something to focus on."
Mrs Hackett, 33, from Bawburgh, who has been cancer free for the past five years, described the helicopter ride as an incredible experience.
She said: "This is the first time we have done an air drop. It is unique for us. It can also allow us to support Laura to tick off an activity on her life is for living list."
SaxonAir is a corporate partner of Little Lifts which has given its boxes to nearly 1,000 women.