Lewes woman hitch-hiked for terminally ill husband

Lois Russell-Cornford, Olivia Meheux and Lauren SUS-180810-111009001
Lois Russell-Cornford, Olivia Meheux and Lauren SUS-180810-111009001

In the face of ‘horrific’ adversity, a wife and her two friends hitch-hiked their way from Lewes to Cyprus to raise £1,900 on behalf of her terminally ill husband.

Olivia Meheux, 25, originally from Lewes said she wanted to do something ‘a bit different’ to raise funds for Sarcoma UK, after her husband, David Willie was diagnosed with incurable bone cancer at just 25-years-old.

The three fundraisers with cabin crew on board the plane SUS-180810-111020001

The three fundraisers with cabin crew on board the plane SUS-180810-111020001

Ms Meheux, who married her husband in February this year in St Peter and St James Hospice in Chailey, described the devastating news as ‘horrific,’ with simply no other way to put it. Together with her two friends, Lois Russell-Cornford, an English teacher and Lauren Whedbee, a teacher-in-training, the women packed sunscreen and umbrellas, thinking they might make it as far as Scotland but hoping they might need to factor 20.

Armed with a letter from Sarcoma UK confirming the women were undertaking a charity challenge, the guards at Haywards Heath train station allowed the three fundraisers onto the train.

At Gatwick airport they were met with a resounding chorus of ‘No’ by the ticket tellers. However, after some phone calls Thomas Cook were able to offer tickets to Athens leaving from Newcastle just a few hours later. With determination and optimism the three women negotiated their way through England’s rail network and made the flight. At this point they had no way of knowing how they were going to return home. From Athens they were bought tickets by fellow passengers for a connecting flight to Cyprus. The girls slept in the airport before being offered tickets by Thomas Cook to return back to London. Ms Russell-Cornford said: “It was an absolute whirlwind. We managed to raise so much awareness of the charity during our journey. It was surreal. I’m so proud of what we managed to achieve.”

Mr Willie said he was very proud and impressed. To donate visit www.justgiving.com/olivia-lauren-lois