Ron set himself a bucket list challenge after being diagnosed with terminal lung disease

After being diagnosed with a terminal lung disease three years ago a father of two is trying to complete his bucket list.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 11th July 2017, 11:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:44 am
Ron and Maxine
Ron and Maxine

Ron Flewiit, 56, was diagnosed with Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) three years ago.

Ron, who lives in Torksey Lock, described the lung disease as ‘scarring of the lungs and they will eventually become like concrete.’

Ron said: “I was told I had between three and five years to live.

“Our whole world fell apart and I fell into a slight depression.

“But then one day me and my wife, Maxine, said to each other that we have been dealt this card and we need to deal with it.

“So we started a bucket list challenge.”

Ron and Maxine are attempting to visit 50 countries while he is still well enough to travel.

Ron said: “I spoke to my consultant about it and they advised me to do as much as possible this year.

“We have been on five cruises already this year.

“We want to fit in as much as we can before I deteriorate and I can’t fly.”

Ron has been taking medication since his diagnosis which has helped to slow the progression of the disease but there is no cure.

Ron said: “As it progresses to do things like walking will make me extremely out of breath.

“I have been taking the medication but it’s now progressing again.

“I am on the radar for a double lung transplant but that comes with its own set of problems.”

Ron has two daughters and Maxine also has children from a previous marriage.

Ron said: “We also used to foster. Maxine has fostered more than 100 children and I have fostered 25 children as well but we had to give that up after I was diagnosed in case I picked up any infections or illnesses.

“My consultant said I was putting myself at risk.”

Ron and Maxine previously lived in Spalding in a big house and Ron said as the lawn took longer and longer to mow they decided to down size and started to look at residential parks.

Ron said: “We fell in love with where we live now in Torksey Lock.”

So far Ron and Maxine have visited places such as Morocco, New York, the Caribbean, Norway and Iceland.

Ron said: “We’re going to Dublin in September then on to Alaska and San Francisco to see Alcatraz as that’s something that interests me.

“Then in November we’re going to Gran Canaria.

“This has changed my life. I have been to the Houses of Parliament to help raise awareness.

“I have tried to turn this negative into a positive.”

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a condition that causes progressive scarring of the lungs.

The build-up of scar tissue is called fibrosis. Fibrosis causes the lungs to become stiffer and lose their elasticity so they’re less able to inflate and take oxygen from the air you breathe.

IPF is a progressive condition and usually gets worse over time. In some people the symptoms gradually get worse over several years. For others, the symptoms get worse more quickly.

Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “Ron is a great inspiration to anyone living with lung disease.

“Knowing you have a terminal illness can be devastating news, but he is determined to make the most of everyday.

“In doing so, he’s raising awareness of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

“We wish Ron well with all the exciting and diverse challenges he’s set himself.”