Terminally ill cancer patient organises own wake to have one final booze up

A terminally ill cancer patient has said he wants to attend his own wake to have 'pizza, booze and games' with his mates one last time.

48-year-old Russ Pegrum from Waltham Abbey, Essex, said he is looking forward to his 'death party'.

He was given the all-clear from bowel cancer in March, after a three-year battle, but was told that it had returned three months later.

In September doctors told him it was terminal, reports Manchester Evening News.

He decided to stop chemotherapy to enjoy the remainder of his life with friends and family.

Russ told Herts Live: "A couple of people suggested I have the wake so that I can be there, it’s an opportunity to see old friends and not necessarily say goodbye but just have a good time.

"I try to give myself little things to look forward to so I am really looking forward to it."

Russ' "death party", as he's fondly called it, will take place on November 13 with an optional fancy dress theme for guests.

He added: "If they want to wear a skull or grim reaper costume they can."

Russ has also taken the opportunity to plan his own funeral.

He has written his own poems and left money from his pension to his brother, nephew and niece in preparation.

"I’ve still got to write a little bit more, I’ve picked the coffin and the hymns," Russ said.

Russ has spoken openly about his diagnosis and received tremendous support from his family and friends.

Russ' mum, Brenda, fully supports his choice to end the treatment and attend his own wake.

She said: "I think families don’t talk enough about death and I think it will help a lot of people who are going through the same thing.

"Don’t you think when someone passes away you wish you had said this or that.

"We’ve got a lot of admiration for Russ."

Throughout all of this Russ and Brenda have been working tirelessly raising money for charities that help those dealing with cancer.

Brenda spent a lot of her life raising money for charities and has now passed on that opportunity to her own son.

She said: "Russ has taken over where I left off.

"I’ve done lots of charities over the years, I never ever thought what I had raised would help my son – well it hasn’t helped because it's terminal but it will help others."

Over last 36 months people have been donating money to Russ' JustGiving page which was set up by local community champion, Shane Yerrell.

The page has so far received over £3,000 from 108 different supporters.

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