Spending All Your Money Could Save Your Life
Wednesday, June 09, 2004

April 15, 2004
A British husband and wife were told they each didn't have long to live, so they spent their life's savings on a trip around the world only to get better on their return home.

Patrick and Megan Hastelow of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, both got bad news in late 2002, reports the London Sun. She was diagnosed with breast cancer, while he was told he had serious heart problems.

"We were really depressed," Patrick told the newspaper. "To cheer ourselves up, we sat down and wrote out our list of the things we most wanted to do and got on with doing them.

Using 40,000 (about $70,000) in savings, they renewed their wedding vows aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 (search), went on a South African safari, danced in Rio de Janiero and visited the Falkland Islands, Uruguay and Senegal.

But now, back in England, Megan, 56, has learned her cancer is in remission, while Patrick, 66, is recovering well from a successful heart-bypass operation.

The couple, married for 20 years, has no regrets about spending the money.

"The thought of doing the 50 things we most wanted to gave us that extra boost and really set us on the road to recovery," she explains. "We are as fit now as we've ever been."

The to-do list isn't finished. Next up: washing Sri Lankan elephants and watching orangutans in Borneo.

"It's made us realize we're not immortal," said Megan.