Grimsby Town's Liam Hearn helps fulfil cancer sufferer's dying wish
GRIMSBY Town star Liam Hearn has helped a dying woman's final wishes come true by auctioning off a signed football shirt.
The striker felt compelled to help after hearing of pancreatic cancer sufferer Pat Long's wish to visit Spain and say a final farewell to close friends.
As reported, the 62-year-old was diagnosed with the aggressive form of the disease in October last year.
Last week, she was given the results of a clinical trial she has recently completed – which has seen her being given the highest dose of radiotherapy and chemotherapy possible.
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And it was great news, as the drastic treatment has shrunk the tumour, which doctors hope will increase the time she has left from their initial estimate of just six to 12 months.
The shirt went for £160 and now Liam has pledged to organise another fundraising event with other Mariners players.
"Seeing Pat and hearing her story has been quite emotional," he said.
"It has made me appreciate things a lot more and has taught me not to take things for granted.
"The first thing I am going to do when I get home is give my daughter a huge hug.
"I have nothing but admiration and respect for how strong Pat is in the face of such adversity.
"I hope this helps her do all the things she wants to do, and that her family are able to get through the inevitable together."
Pat, of Salamander Close, Grimsby, has five children and will travel to Spain next month.
Her eldest son, Mark, 38, lives in Javea, and she has spent the past four years going out there for months at a time, during which she made some very strong friendships.
After her diagnosis, a fundraising effort was launched to fund her last wishes by friends Carol Stow and Tracey Flemming.
Charity Kids 'N' Cancer has paid the £1,000 holiday insurance she needs because she is so ill.
Pat said: "I have lots of happy memories and met some beautiful people out there.
"It means so much to me to be able to go out there and say goodbye to them all.
"Knowing I can go to say goodbye to them and having the support of people, some complete strangers, has brought me a tremendous amount of comfort.
"Strangers have been donating, sending me prayers and good wishes.
"It has been amazing.
"I can't believe I am going so soon and all I want is to see my friends one last time."
Carol and Tracey also organised a gig and raised £850 for the cause.
Carol said: "Tracey and I felt she should have her last wish to go out to the place that has made her happy.
"She is very low at times and frightened, but we do what we can to pick her back up."