KIND-HEARTED colleagues of the dad of a terminally ill cancer sufferer chipped in to help him on his way to join her on a dream trip as part of her bucket list.
Mick Walsh will now accompany his daughter, Ann-Marie Noble, on a once-in-a-lifetime ride on a Harley Davidson motorbike across the legendary Route 66 in America after staff at his workplace, Hartlepool-based Seymour Civil Engineering, held a staff raffle.
The total raised was £2,499.66, including a £1,000 donation from Seymour.
More than 2,000 tickets were sold and 49 raffle prizes were donated by staff, suppliers and neighbouring companies.
Ann-Marie, a 31-year-old RAF flight lieutenant, compiled a bucket list of 30 wishes she wants to achieve after medics said there was nothing more they could do to treat her cervical cancer, after it was diagnosed in April.
Mick, 53, a general operative for the firm, who is married to Ann-Marie’s mum, Ann, and lives in West View Road, said: “The support from work has been brilliant.
“You think you are just another worker, but when something like this happens and for them to go to these lengths is a big thing.”
Brave Mick, who rides a Moto Guzzi California Special motorbike, added: “Every motorcyclist in the world would want to go on Route 66.
“Anyone would remember that for the rest of their lives, but we don’t know how long we are going to have Ann-Marie with us and for us it has a particular poignancy.”
Ann-Marie started a fund to help achieve the crippling £4,000 cost of travel insurance needed to go on trips in Europe for one last time, including a skiing trip and family holiday.
Mike Hemming, of Bike Tours for The Wounded, which offers pillion motorcycle rides to sick, injured and wounded service as well as ex-service personnel to ride America’s Route 66, read our story and offered Ann-Marie the chance.
But she previously told the Mail she was disgusted that insurance companies specialising in helping cancer victims were unable to provide a quote to insure her to travel outside Europe due to her “terminal prognosis”, and one even quoted her £15,000.
But Mick, who is also dad to Melissa, 19, says Ann-Marie has been able to arrange insurance with help from Ride Route 66 and Seymour, which has given him extra leave during the family’s difficult time, was helping him to be able to afford the trip so he can be her driver.
Seymour’s managing director, Kevin Byrne, said: “I had no hesitation sanctioning a company donation from our reserves and agreed Mick would receive full pay during his extended period of absence while accompanying Ann-Marie on the epic trip. Additionally I notified all staff and trade associates to gather raffle prizes, donations and gifts.
“The response has been overwhelming. This story has touched so many people and the outpouring of generosity is remarkable.”
The pair fly out later this month for a 10-day trip.
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