Friends launch fundraiser to get dying man to Glastonbury for the last time

Nigel Stonehouse, a former bricklayer from Hartlepool, was diagnosed with cancer of the kidney in May.

Nigel Stonehouse was desperate to attend the Glastonbury Festival one last time (Yui Mok/PA)
Nigel Stonehouse was desperate to attend the Glastonbury Festival one last time (Yui Mok/PA)

Friends of a festival-lover who has been told he has weeks left to live have launched a fundraiser to get him to Glastonbury to fulfil his “dying wish”.

Nigel Stonehouse, 58, a former bricklayer from Hartlepool, was diagnosed with cancer of the kidney in mid-May, but it has spread to his lungs, with doctors telling him it is incurable, friends say.

He had been due to go to Glastonbury this week but can no longer travel for long without medical help, so they have launched a fundraiser to pay for a helicopter to fly him there from North Tees hospital.

Almost £9,000 of the £12,000 target had been raised as of Sunday afternoon, with musician Fatboy Slim, who is performing at the Somerset festival this year, backing the cause.

(Maria Beggs/PA)

His close friend, Lizzie Beggs, who is helping the efforts, wrote: “Nige was planning to be with us all at Glastonbury next week, and he has made it his dying wish to make it there, even if only for a few hours for one last time.

“He is currently an inpatient at North Tees hospital, and their wonderful palliative care team have assured him that they will do all they can to make this happen.

“Within hours they had contacted site managers at the festival who advised that they would facilitate in ways that they can.

“Unfortunately there is no space left in the accessible areas (Nige has a general sale ticket) but they will facilitate entry via the accessible car park.

“This is obviously a huge undertaking, and will be costly, the palliative care team suggested commissioning a helicopter – the first quote we have had is for £12,000.”

Mr Stonehouse, described as a “festival veteran”, has gone to Glastonbury with his friends for the last 30 years, and has seen the Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash and David Bowie perform there.

His friends say he is “very stubborn and determined” despite his condition and looks forward to watching Diana Ross this year.

Maria Beggs told the PA news agency: “He’s feeling positive and it’s given him a boost and something positive to hope for.”

FatBoy slim said on Twitter: “Folks. I’ve been contacted by the friend of a terminally ill man who wants to go to Glasto 1 last time.

“He’s so poorly with cancer they’re going to have to fly him in by air ambulance. If you’d join me in helping Nige’s dying wish then pls donate here.”

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