Fundraiser to send cancer-hit mum on dream trip to Maldives

A Bognor Regis family is raising money to send their mother, who has secondary breast cancer, on a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ trip to the Maldives.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 11:25 am
Updated Thursday, 6th May 2021, 1:00 pm

Tina O’Brien, 51, was originally diagnosed with primary breast cancer 11 years ago, but eventually got the all-clear. This April, however, Mrs O’Brien was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer which has nowspread to four different places in her spinal cord, giving her only 18 months to live.

To help their mother make the most of the time she’s got left, Mrs O’Brien’s children, Emma- Louise Blisset and Dan Homer started the fundraiser earlier this week to raise £8,000 and send their mother and her wife on a dream trip to the Maldives.

Mrs Blissett says the trip is about more than just making valuable memories, it’s about saying ‘thank you’ for a lifetime of love and care.

Emma-Louise Blissett and family hope to raise £8,000 to send their mother on a 'once in a lifetime' trip to the Maldives

“There’s always been someone she’s had to look after, whether it be my Nan, my auntie or my uncle.” Mrs Blissett said. “Two years ago, we lost all three in the same year, three months apart from each other. So she’s had to deal with that and now she’s looking after my grandad, which is obviously getting more difficult.”

The family decided on The Maldives, then, because it is the one place Mrs O’Brien has always wanted to go: “It’s one of those places you always dream of going.” Mrs Blissett said. “But it’s so expensive, it’s literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and if you do go, you want to do it properly. If I had my way, and I had enough money, I’d have booked it yesterday. But I don’t.”

The money raised will be enough to send Mrs O’Brien and her wife, Paula Marchant, on a two-week, all-inclusive trip to the Maldives

“As soon as we’ve got all the money and as soon we can, it’ll be booked ASAP. I don’t want to waste any time and she gets so unwell she can’t go.” Mrs Blissett said.

If things do go wrong, though, and Covid restrictions prevent Mrs O’Brien from leaving on time, the family have a back up plan: “(Tina) is a massive Liverpool supporter but she’s never been to Anfield, so I think that would be the next step if things don’t quite workout.”

Whatever happens, the family are more than on track to make Mrs O’Brien’s dreams come true. Since the fundraiser started last Sunday, the family have raised nearly £4,500 for the trip: an outcome which surprised everyone, even Mrs Blissett.

“We’ve all cried.” She said. “None of us expected it.”

To find out more about more about the fundraiser and to donate to Mrs O’Brien’s dream trip to the Maldives, go to www.gofundme.com and search for ‘mums final wishes’. Alternatively, click here to go directly to the fundraiser.