I had a whale of a time! Cancer girl, 16, finishes bucket list of dreams after two years with an orca-watching trip
Alice Pyne flew to Canada to go whale watching against doctor's advice



10:24 GMT, 17 August 2012

A teenager girl dying of cancer has fulfilled her 'bucket list' of things she wanted to do.

But Alice Pyne's final dream came true after her parents made a 'terrifying' late-night decision to fly her abroad.

Alice flew to Canada to go whale watching and tick off her last bucket list wish.

Alice Pyne

Dream come true: Alice, right, who is dying of cancer, is pictured with her mother Vicky and younger sister Milly



Holiday snaps: Alice made a pilgrimage to Vancouver and went out on a boat to see the whales

The 16-year-old, who has a white blood cell cancer called Hodgkins lymphoma, made a pilgrimage to Vancouver and stood on the brow of a boat surrounded by orcas and humpbacks.

She said the trip was 'the best holiday ever'.

Her parents, Vicky and Simon Pyne, took on the 11-hour flight abroad – after a sleepless night of worry – to allow Alice to complete her list of achievements.

Mrs Pyne said their consultant advised them not to travel abroad, but added: 'If you are to go, go quickly.'

Alice is pictured with Nicole Mackay who convinced her to travel over


Brave: Alice with Nicole Mackay who convinced her parents to take her to Canada despite the cost and impossibility of insurance. It was Alice's dream to see whales. She is pictured right with sister Milly


Nature: After 45 minutes on the water Alice and her family were surrounded by 25 orca and humpback whales

'We thought it was too risky, it was too far,' added Mrs Pyne.

However, an email message from Alice's Vancouver friend Nicole convinced them to take the trip to see their daughter's favourite animal despite the cost and impossibility of insurance.


DONE – To go whale watching

DONE – Visit Cadbury World

DONE – To go to my school leavers prom

DONE – To stay in the Chocolate room at Alton Towers

DONE – To swim with sharks

DONE 'ish – To go to Kenya (got to go to Kent-ya)!

DONE – To enter Mabel in a Labrador show

DONE – Photo shoot with Milly, Clarissa, Sammie and Megs

DONE – To have a private cinema party for me and my BFFs

DONE – To design a Emma Bridgewater Mug to sell for charity

DONE- To stay in a caravan

DONE – To have a purple Apple ipad

DONE – To meet Take That

DONE – To have a nice picture taken with Mabel

DONE – To have my hair done

DONE – To have a back massage

Within hours of booking their flights, the family, including Alice's sister Milly, were waiting for a jet at Manchester Airport.

They made the flight and drove across to Vancouver Island. The following day they met Nicole and her father Bill MacKay, who run MacKay Whale Watching.

Alice's family stepped on to a boat and, after 45 minutes on the water, they were surrounded by 25 orca and humpback whales.

Alice said: 'They were huge. I couldn't believe I was there. This was something I've always wanted to do. I wanted to see them in the wild and I loved the way they moved in the water.'

They spent five hours on the water, allowing Alice, of Ulverston, Cumbria, time to watch the whales rolling and playing around their vessel, as well as watching sea lions and dolphins.

She said: 'When I made my bucket list I never expected it to be published to the whole world – so I didn't expect to tick off the last item – I didn't even expect to get the majority of my wishes fulfilled.

'Words can't really explain it but I'm so happy it is done.

'There was a point where I was on the back of the boat and a whale came up two metres away from me. It was about 25 foot long and just amazing.

'I always said you should take a few risks and there is no part of me that thinks this was a bit of a risk. What was the worst that could happen More people should feel the same way.'

She told fans on her blog: 'I don't think about it all too much as they didn't think I'd be here 18 months ago and I could waste the life I've got just thinking about it all.'

Her mother added: 'A year ago we weren't brave enough to make the trip – we wouldn't have dreamed of it – but we knew it was now or never and we might have lived a long life of regret after Alice is gone if we didn't grab the opportunity.'


Inspiring: Alice pictured with her beloved dog Mable last year. She encouraged people to take risks in life


Popular: Alice has thousands of fans since she started her blog and keeps it updated with her challenges

She was recognised by fans of her blog at Manchester Airport, in a cafe at Telegraph Cove where they were taken on a millionaire's yacht and invited on a helicopter ride across the rivers and waterfalls.

Alice's bucket list, which went viral online and has now been viewed by around four million people, led to her meeting Prime Minister David Cameron in July, last year, to discuss how to help people suffering cancer.

She has campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of the need for more bone marrow donors.

She has now battled her condition for five years and set up the charity Alice's Escapes, this year, to provide holidays for seriously ill children.