The following Dream Request was sent to us by the daughter of Eric Rutherford.
Unfortunately despite this dream being fully booked and ready to go, Eric was sadly… not well enough to fulfil his special day. We wanted to share Eric’s story as a tribute to the brave fight that both him and his lovely wife fought every day and to further highlight the importance of a Dream and why we do what we do.
“My dad worked at Hatfield Main pit from 1962 until 1992, then he worked as a contractor at other pits from 1993 to 1994 but after a management buy at returned to Hatfield Main and worked up to the day he was hospitalized in December 2002. Up to this point my dad was “fit as a butchers dog”. He went to gym, trained at home and was always active, whether it be building me a go kart or a den, he was always up & about. Never had a day sick. I can remember him coming home one day with half his thumb hanging off, nipping to A&E, few stitches, bit of glue and then he was back at work for rest of his shift. Absolute Trojan!
I can remember going to Alton Towers with my mum & dad. My dad is not one for scary rides or looping rollercoasters, but my mum is a total adrenalin junkie. Anyway, my dad had horrific back ache & was literally the bag man when me & my mum went on rides. His backache continued for numerous weeks but being the proud provider of the family he never moaned & never ventured to the doctors. He suddenly started experiencing extreme itching over a period of 3 months and finally after being harassed form both me & my mum he visited his GP who sent him for blood tests. The results of the blood tests revealed he had kidney failure. With that, my dad just took it in his stride, carried on going to work & got on with it. However, with more tests followed by the diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma cancer with renal failure. Multiple Myeloma is a cancer arising from plasma cells but unlike many cancers, myeloma does not exist as a lump or tumor so we never thought anything nasty as it wasn’t really visible. After speaking with GP’s and specialists we were told that it is a terminal illness with a prognosis of 10 years. Within a the space of 2 weeks my dad was no longer able to work & in his eyes, provide for his family.
I think in all honesty the fight against cancer didn’t really scare him, what did scare him was the fact that he felt he was inadequate & that he’d failed his family. Which of course could not be further from the truth. I am very, very proud of my dad. He is one of the strongest people I know. A unique person who was told in August 2008 he had 8 weeks to live and has defied the odds. I do believe that if it wasn’t for my mum Anne, he wouldn’t be here today. She has fought tooth & nail for his right to live and has very much done the same amount of fighting against cancer as my dad has for himself. The two together are a force to be reckoned with and I love them both dearly as everyone does for their parents.
My dad grew up in Dunscroft when RAF Finningley was operating as a Navigation school, the crews flew Lincoln bombers. As a young lad he learnt to identify the many different types of planes flying overhead by their engine noise. He would regularly attend the air shows and had a great admiration for the pilots and crews of the fighter planes during the war. I can remember him saying that when he started his working life at Hatfield pit he met Walter Smith, a former radio operator on Lancaster bombers during the war who would discuss the plane in great detail and at some length. Then as he got older he invested in many pairs of binoculars to enable him a better view of the planes in flight. His love affair with planes has continued, always in the garden with his binoculars trying to get a view of the planes that fly over. Me & my mum wonder how he hears them as he never wears his bloody hearing aids for us!
I am contacting you to ask if it would be possible if Eve Merton Dreams Trust would make my dad dream come true & organize for a taxi trip in the Lancaster bomber aircraft. It would be amazing for my dad & my mum would love to see him as happy as can be.
Thanks Rachael Rutherford”
Eric Rutherford sadly passed away on Monday 23rd June 2014 with his wife Anne by his side.
We ask all who have read this to spare a thought for Eric and anybody else currently fighting their own fight, as we as a Trust, remember a truly brave man and his family x