Rio cross-country tickets auctioned for Willberry Wonder Pony

  • Bidding for a “once in a lifetime” experience today will also help raise money for Willberry Wonder Pony.

    Hannah Francis is auctioning two tickets for the Olympic eventing cross-country in Rio on 8 August, with the proceeds going to her charity.

    The 18-year-old, who was diagnosed with bone cancer last year, was hoping to go herself but is not well enough.

    She said on Facebook: “This has been my absolute wish all along.

    “When I was in hospital this time last year, and asked to ‘make a wish’, this was at the top of my list but unfortunately the consultants didn’t give their permission.”

    Hannah Francis

    “Kind lady” Diana Gilbertson offered Hannah the tickets early this year.

    “What an amazing opportunity and such a kind gesture…how on earth could I turn this down?” Hannah said.

    “I had already defied the odds, I was still here, riding and as strong as I could be, it was a possibility surely so long as I just kept pushing, dreaming, fighting, believing and never giving up on what I truly believed in… I said yes of course.”

    The tickets have arrived but: “Of course everything has now changed,” said Hannah (pictured, above, before her illness).

    “I’m no longer strong, mobile or at all independent enough to cope with the journey let alone the Olympics itself.

    “We’ve held out to see if I’d progress enough and I haven’t. It’s just not possible.

    “Therefore I would like them to be auctioned for the charity to give someone else the once in a lifetime experience I was looking forward to.”

    Hopefuls are asked to comment on the post, and the highest bidder at 9pm today (28 July) will win the tickets.

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    Hannah wrote: “This is a sensational opportunity that I so wish Willberry and I were taking part in however sadly we are not, but this isn’t to say I’m not grateful for all the other totally amazing things we’ve been able to do in the last 14 months which have just been phenomenal!

    Funds raised for Willberry Wonder Pony will go towards bone cancer research and granting horsey wishes to those with serious illnesses.

    For more information, visit the Willberry Wonder Pony website

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