'Wonderful sense of fulfilment' - Widower, 93, donates $25k daffodil crop to Cancer Society

Nelson’s Don Heslop is growing a bumper crop of daffodils for the Cancer Society’s annual Daffodil Day appeal. 

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Don Heslop's Lower Moutere farm has been growing daffodils for 25 years. Source: Seven Sharp

The 93-year-old has been growing the flowers for the past 25 years in his Motueka farm.

Volunteers come to pick the flowers every year, many of them touched by the devastation of cancer.

Mr Heslop has had his own brush with cancer. He lost his wife to the disease and almost lost his own when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer 30 years ago.

“I knew there was something wrong, but I thought it was old age,” he said.

“It took a couple of years to get a proper diagnosis.

“They took out a foot of bowel and thought that I'd be alright.”

It was after the diagnosis that he bought his farm. Mr Heslop used to grow potatoes.

“I feel a wonderful sense of fulfilment,” he said.

Michelle Hunt, the centre manager for the Cancer Society in Nelson, said Mr Heslop’s daffodils raised $20,000 to $25,000 a year. Mr Heslop doesn’t charge the Cancer Society.

“It’s just something you can’t repay,” she said.

“We’re really thankful that we have people like this in the community.”

Watch the full story in the video above.