Finding the right wedding venue for a dream wedding can be difficult at the best of times, yet for one couple affected by sarcoma, getting married at a hospice in Sussex turned out to be ‘the best day of our lives’.
David Willie and Olivia Meheux, both 25, were married at St Peter & St James Hospice on 8 March 2018 in a full-scale wedding organised in just ten days by family, hospice staff and the charity Gift of a Wedding.
David, who was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma in June 2016, was told at the start of this year his treatment options had been exhausted. After being admitted to the hospice at the start of March, the couple brought their wedding forward from April.
‘We know our time together is limited’, Olivia said. ‘After a few days at the hospice, I asked whether it could be used as a venue. We both desperately wanted to get married and it made sense to do it while David still had the quality of life to enjoy the day and in a safe place where he would only ever be 50 feet from expert care.’
The couple were joined by nearly 60 friends and family on their big day. ‘It was one of the best days of my life, we both had so much fun’, David said. ‘It was important to us both that it felt as normal as possible. You wouldn't for a second have thought we were in a hospice – it felt like we were in a proper wedding venue.’
David got in touch with the charity after his wedding, keen to share his experience and outlook. ‘To be honest, I'd never heard of sarcoma let alone chondrosarcoma. I obviously knew about cancer affecting the bones and pretty much anywhere in the body, but no I hadn't heard of sarcoma’. David wants more people to know about sarcoma and the work done by Sarcoma UK. ‘In my case the doctor wrote down 'chondrosarcoma' on a piece of paper and said I could look it up. When I got home to my mum, we Googled it. That's how I found out I had cancer. If more people know about sarcoma then more people are likely to help fund the research into better treating this disease and hopefully one day curing it, so that no one has to go through what I and many others have’.
The couple are now getting used to being married and still marveling about their magical day. ‘It was just filled with so much love and happiness,’ Olivia added. ‘Thankfully, David has improved since being at the hospice and may be discharged for a while, but the fact is that he is terminally ill. To be able to have had such an amazing wedding and share the day with our families and friends means so much. I’m so proud to be able to call David my husband.’
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