A MAN with terminal bowel cancer married his long-term partner in a winter wonderland wedding at his hospice, days before what could be their last Christmas together.
Jimmy Marshall and Helen Jemson wed at St Cuthbert’s Hospice, in Durham, on Thursday (December 17), just days after Mr Marshall, 58, had proposed.
Friends and relatives travelled from across the country, some at just a day’s notice, and hospice volunteers worked round the clock to make the couple’s dream wedding a reality.
In just four days, a festive red wedding dress was ordered, a snowflake cake was baked and decorated and the hospice lounge was transformed into a romantic, candlelit venue.
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Registrars from the Durham Registry Office conducted the ceremony and hospice staff laid on a festive buffet and drinks reception.
Mr Marshall, a former painter and decorator from Quaking Houses, near Stanley, was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer two years ago and has been a hospice inpatient for four weeks.
He said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw the room. It was amazing. It all happened so quickly and I never expected they would do such a good job.”
The new Mrs Marshall, a 46-year-old civil servant, added: “I was nervous beforehand but when I walked into the room and saw Jimmy waiting for me the nerves and stress melted away. The hospice did such an amazing job. It was a very emotional day.”
The couple met at their local cricket club 12 years ago.
Mr Marshall first visited St Cuthbert’s Hospice for treatment over a year ago. He said: “It’s a brilliant place. They take all of the fear away.”
His new wife added: “I expected it to be scary and depressing and I was dreading it but it wasn’t like that at all. Everyone is so welcoming and kind. Nothing is ever too much for them; they will do anything for Jimmy and for me too.”
Julie Wells, the hospice’s family support team manager, said: “When any guest or patient at the hospice asks for anything, all the staff pull together to make it happen, big or small.
“It was a delight and a privilege to be involved in this really special occasion.”
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