Morecambe grandad takes on bucket list balloon ride

Keith Tassart, a work party supervisor of Lancaster Canal Trust, took on a hot air balloon ride for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.
Keith Tassart, a work party supervisor of Lancaster Canal Trust, took on a hot air balloon ride for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

A man who is battling a brain tumour experienced his first hot air balloon ride in a bid to raise funds for a charity close to his heart.

Keith Tassart from Morecambe took to the skies as part of his wish list after being diagnosed with a brain tumour earlier this year.

Keith Tassart, a work party supervisor of Lancaster Canal Trust, took on a hot air balloon ride for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

Keith Tassart, a work party supervisor of Lancaster Canal Trust, took on a hot air balloon ride for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

The dad-of-two, who has been a farmer nearly all his life, experienced no symptoms before his diagnosis.

“It just came out of the blue,” said Mr Tassart, 76.

“It was quite a shock for me and everybody else.”

After receiving care at Lancaster Royal Infirmary and treatment at Rosmere Cancer Foundation Centre in Preston, Mr Tassart decided he wanted to help others.

With the help of his children he organised a hot air balloon ride to raise funds for Rosemere.

Mr Tassart entered the balloon ride from a field near Kirkby Lonsdale on Monday morning (July 17) and viewed the countryside from a unique angle.

Virgin Balloons had a full basket of around 18 people.

“It was a wonderful experience,” said Mr Tassart, who is a former work party supervisor of Lancaster Canal Trust supervisor and British Waterways.

“We could see Blackpool Tower in the distance and the pilot skilfully gave us a round trip by manoeuvring from height to height, to get advantage of different wind directions and strengths.

“I did not know that was possible, so clever we landed in the same general area as we started.

“There was no sound at all whilst up in the air at 7,000 feet, the noisiest thing was them lighting up the burner, it was a slow and gentle ride.”

Mr Tassart is determined to live his life to the full whilst he battles with the terminal illness.

His next challenge will be skydiving and he is in the process of giving his stamp and model tractors to Rosemere for further funds. “I was overwhelmed at the strength of generosity of my fellow passengers, after I announced why I was taking on this trip,” said Mr Tassart, a grandad-of-one.

Around £200 has been raised so far for Rosemere Cancer Foundation who are the main cancer teaching centre in the north west.

All donations through Mr Tassart’s challenges can be given direct to Rosemere Cancer Foundation via email info@rosemere.org.uk or 01772 522913.