A Crawley woman with terminal cancer has spoken of her joy after friends rallied to send her on a dream trip to Lapland.
Mum-of-three Nikki Hopkins, 52, has had a lifelong ambition to visit the Christmas wonderland - and her three best friends were determined to make her dream come true.
Pals Denise Brett, Michele Treen-Hyam and Laura Mansfield organised a mammoth fundraising event - and Nikki and her husband made the trip before Christmas.
“It was absolutely fantastic. It was so magical, it was unbelievable,” said Nikki when she returned to her home in Gossops Green.
Nikki has been diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer and attends St Catherine’s Hospice twice a week.
She said the visit to Lapland had been at the top of her bucket list - and the trip more than lived up to her expectations with sleigh rides, a VIP visit to meet Santa in his log cabin - and even a snowfall on the last day.
She said she and her husband Mark would have ‘lovely memories’ to cherish forever.
And she thanked her three friends for making her wish a reality.“Without my three girls I don’t know what I’d do,” said Nikki.
“They keep me going. When I’m down they come round and make me laugh. I love them to bits. I’m a lucky girl.”
She said she even felt that her health had improved while she was in Lapland. “I was on cloud nine and the air was so pure.”
Although she has to take morphine regularly to control her pain, she said she tried to keep positive.
“Every day is a new day, that’s how I look at it.”
She keeps busy helping to look after her mother who is recovering from a heart attack, and by keeping up with her grandchildren - and looking after her pet dog, Ty.