Proceeds raised from a charity fundraiser will go towards the final trip of a lifetime for a terminally ill woman.
The story of Kate Harding, who has incurable myxoid liposarcoma, touched fitness instructor Jane Ledsham so much after she read it in The Chronicle, that she felt compelled to hold an 80s aerobics night that could help fund some activities on Kate’s final trip to Australia, where she will travel to next month after raising enough money to say her final goodbyes to the friends she met there in 2008.
Seventeen people dressed in 80s style costume attended the exercise class held at Chester’s Queen’s School, raising £95 in donations and £33 from a raffle. Dee 106.3's breakfast host Gavin Matthews and the radio's mascot Chester the Cat also joined in the dancing to the 80s most popular songs.
Kate and her wife Saffy Sparkles had been four weeks into their gap year there when Kate, 37, started to become concerned about a lump on her leg.
She was diagnosed shortly afterwards and, Kate had to endure six weeks of painful radiation which caused internal and external burns, as well as have a large tumour removed from her thigh at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.
During their trip, the couple met a number of special friends, including a couple who took them in and looked after them - and it was for this reason that for her final wish, Kate, who last year was given between 18-24 months to live, issued an appeal to the public to help her raise the money for a return trip before she dies.
Within days Kate had surpassed her £1,500 target , and she and Saffy are set to fly out on March 26 for just under a month, with the proceeds from the charity night coming in extremely handy.
Kate said: “The money will go in the pot and be used towards activities we are trying to arrange such as a swim with wild dolphins and a helicopter ride over the Gold Coast. Any monies left will be equally split between Sarcoma UK and Hannah’s Chance Foundation in Australia who are the UK equivalent for Sarcoma Awareness.
“I am just so overwhelmed at people’s generosity, not just in financial donations but also of their time.”
She explained: “It was a fantastic event and such great fun - everybody said they enjoyed it and it was great to meet people and talk about my story and raise Sarcoma Awareness. I’d like to thank Jane Ledsham for organising the event and for her enthusiasm - it really is greatly appreciated. We hope to remain friends for the future.”
Jane added: “I’m really pleased it went so well. I’d read Kate’s story online and it just really touched me - bless her heart.
“Most people were wonderfully supportive but I did see a couple of negative comments on social media and it really inspired me to do something to help her so I got in touch.”
The pair will document their adventure on a blog you can follow here: http://katesfinalozwish.blogspot.co.uk/ and you can still donate to Kate here: http://www.gofundme.com/k0ab94