Beautiful blonde with terminal cancer creates bucket list fit for an A-lister
A beautiful blonde with terminal cancer has created a glamorous BUCKET LIST fit for an A-LISTER.
Alex Hopwood, 24, has been jet-setting to A-list locations and sipping tea at the Ritz since her devastating diagnosis just two months ago.
The childcare worker, from Hinckley, Leicestershire, has traveled to three continents and seen some of the world’s most famous sites, in a bid to make some treasured memories with her beloved friends and family.
Despite her hectic schedule, Alex has still found the time to set up a charity to help others in her position.
Alex said: “As soon as I was told the news that there was no more treatment available to me, I came home and a friend encouraged me to write a list of things I wanted to do.
“All the trips and days out that I was hoping to do once I’d got better, I decided to do them now.
“I’ve flown over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter, and watched the Northern Lights in Iceland.
“I’ve had tea at the Ritz and taken my little niece to Disney Land – it’s all been incredible.
“I’m lucky enough to have some amazing friends and family, so I just want to spend as much time with them as possible.
“I’m just so grateful for every single day.”
Alex was first diagnosed with leukemia after noticing unusual bruises appearing on her body in September 2013.
But after a bone marrow transplant from her brother, Dane, she was told she was in remission just four months later.
She said: “When I was told the cancer was gone it was such a relief.
“My brother had been amazing to donate his bone marrow and I was so excited to get back on with my life.
“I was going for routine scans and everything was positive until about May when the scans had come back.
“It was such a shock but I just threw myself back into chemo again – I had every treatment possible and my brother donated his bone marrow again.
“Once again we thought everything was going well, and I had to wait 100 days until after the transplant to have a biopsy to check it had worked.
“I was hoping for the best, but in the middle of October this year the doctors explained that it hadn’t worked, and there was nothing more that they could do.
“I had sort of prepared myself for bad news, but it was just devastating – I hated that I was going to have to tell all the people I loved the bad news – I didn’t want to upset them.”
After returning home from hospital, a friend suggested Alex write a list of things she wanted to do.
Alex said: “It wasn’t a set list of things I definitely had to tick off, but more a list of wishes.
“It included big things like Vegas, Dubai and Iceland, but also smaller things like staying in the Cotswolds with my friends, and going on days out with my family.
“As soon as I’d done it I messaged my friends asking if they wanted to come to Vegas – I couldn’t believe it when so many people replied saying they wanted to come with me.
“31 one of us – including my mum, Jacky, flew out all together and it was just incredible.
“We flew over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter, watched Britney Spears perform, visited the famous Vegas sign, and sped around the city in a limo.
“It was one of the best experiences of my life.”
Since then, Alex has visited Dubai, Iceland, and Disney Land Paris, rented out a cottage with her friends, had a pretend Christmas Day, sipped cream tea at the Ritz, and visited country houses around her home county of Leicestershire.
She said: “A lot of people can’t get over the news that they are very ill, but I just thought that there was no point in dwelling on it.
“I didn’t want this cancer to stop me from doing anything.
“I know I’m lucky to have so many amazing people in my life, so I just want to spend lots of time with them.
“I do feel more poorly now since I first went away, but I just want to keep going for as long as possible.”
Selfless Alex has also been keen to set up a charity to support other young people in her position.
She said: “I set up a charity throughout my ongoing battle as it gave me a lift helping others – I was inspired to create something positive out of something so negative that had happened
“It gave me a purpose in life when I was going through treatment.
“It was really important to me to raise awareness and reach out to other people, so I created a charity called A Gift to Lift.
“It’s a charity to create memorable experiences for blood cancer patients, and I aim to raise enough funds to have a special holiday lodge for patients and their families to spend quality time at.
“I gave my first experience to a girl who was treated in the same hospital as me and it was just incredible.
“I also make accessories for the charity to raise funds.
“I’ve organized a fundraising night where we raised over £8,000.”
Alex continues to live every day to its fullest.
She said: “I never asked how much time I have left as I don’t want to know, but more recently some of the doctors and nurses have been talking to me about arranging somewhere I’d want to be when I might pass away.
“Whatever happens now, I know I’ve experienced some of the most incredible things, and I’ll always be grateful for that.
“It’s my friends and family, especially my mum, that have kept me going and supported me.
“Life is for living – I’m determined to keep smiling, and appreciate every single day.”
To donate to Alex’s charity, visit https://www.facebook.com/AGiftToLift