Sheringham cancer mum says ‘thanks’ for dream holiday - despite heartbreaking theft of family photos
A mother-of-two battling cancer has thanked generous locals who rallied round to pay for her family to enjoy a 'dream holiday'.
Michelle Richardson, who has been given 'months, not years' to live, said the two-week trip to Ibiza with husband David and their children Ella-Mae, 11, and nine-year-old Euan, was 'absolutely fantastic'.
And she said that the trip, paid for by donations from people from Sheringham and Cromer, had not been spoiled by the heartbreak of having all the family photographs stolen with two days of the break to go.
Mrs Richardson, from Pine Grove, Sheringham, is now taking the bold step of refusing any more chemotherapy because of how it makes her feel.
She said: 'Why be ill in bed when I could be spending that time with my children?'
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Mrs Richardson, 43, is enduring her second bout of the condition in five years, and has been told by doctors that they can only treat, not cure it.
Friends, family and strangers rallied round to donate �8,000, much of which paid for the trip to Ibiza from July 23. Mrs Richardson has also bought a therapeutic mattress and a wheelchair to make her life more bearable.
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She said: 'The people of Sheringham and Cromer made our dream come true of having a family holiday.
'Thankyou is not a big enough word to describe what it did for us as a family and how wonderful it was. Norwich Airport were also brilliant. They laid on a taxi to the airport and back, and did VIP check-in.'
She added: 'The holiday was absolutely fantastic. The children did all the trips they wanted to do, and I wasn't too bad. If I was doing anything extra I had to take extra pain relief, but I managed pretty well.
'It was nice for it to be just the four of us, and to be away from reality for a while. If I didn't have hospital appointments, I'd have wanted to stay out there.'
Mrs Richardson said that with two days of the holiday left, the family had 1,500 photographs stolen from inside their hire car. The cruel blow left them with no pictures to remind them of the trip. Mrs Richardson said it was 'gut-wrenching', but added: 'We've all got our memories.'
She said: 'The trip was really fantastic. I am so grateful to everyone who helped us.'
And she added that her children had made her promise that if she got through treatment they would have another family holiday.