Tasha and Dan's Wedding | The Hospice of St. Francis

Tasha and Dan's Wedding

“Anything that can be done to make their day special, you guys have supported and aided.

Thirty-six-year-old Tasha Burton, from Ladies Grove, St Albans, was only admitted to our Inpatient Unit at 10am on Tuesday and at 1pm on Wednesday she and her fiancé Daniel Corley, 23, were living their wedding dream when they celebrated their marriage with family and friends.

Tasha had learned the devastating news that she had just two weeks to live last week after a scan revealed that bowel cancer, which was first diagnosed in October 2017, had spread to her lungs, liver and lymph nodes.

Immediately, her best friend of 23 years Kat Leyden, who Tasha calls her sister, put an urgent request on Facebook through the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation - a charity which organises and funds weddings for the terminally ill - appealing for everything from a photographer, videographer, buffet for 60, make-up artist, and wedding cake, to a wedding dress, suit for the groom, venue stylist and flowers.

Within minutes, they were inundated with all sorts of offers, providing everything the devoted couple needed for their special day.

“I can’t believe the response we’ve had,” said Kat, 34, “without the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, we would have been completely lost but the Hospice has put all the pieces of the jigsaw together.

“They’ve just been fantastic, from lending me a fundraising phone yesterday when my own phone battery died, to sorting, managing and coordinating all the offers of help that have come in, to hiding Tasha’s dress in the laundry room so that Dan wouldn’t see it. They even laid out fake grass by the marquee entrance so Tasha’s dress wouldn’t get muddy in the rain.

“Anything that can be done to make their day special, you guys have supported and aided. You’re all about helping people to live their precious lives well and this is that ethos in action. The excitement from the nurses to the chaplain to the volunteers and cleaners has been palpable. We’ve really felt you’ve wanted to make it as special as we do.”

To James Arthur’s ‘Say You Won’t Let Go,’ Tasha walked up the ‘aisle’ of a marquee that as chance would have it, had just been put up for another Hospice event, to be given away by her father David and her and Daniel’s 19-month-old son Alaric in a poignant service led by Hospice Chaplain Ray Ashley-Brown.

After walking out to John Legend’s ‘All of Me,’ Tasha said afterwards: “It was just lovely, absolutely amazing. I was just so taken aback by it all. Peoples’ generosity was absolutely stunning and getting it all organised in 36 hours was just incredible. I was so happy.

“Dan and I have known each other since May 2015 when we met at work, we got together in July on my birthday and six months later we were engaged. We knew it was love. Getting married is something we’ve always wanted to do so today really is the fulfilment of a dream and we can’t thank everyone enough.”

Added Dan: “It’s been the most amazing day - I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tash look so beautiful.”