COUNTY NEWS: Couple ask for help to wed after terminal cancer diagnosis

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A couple are appealing for help funding their wedding, after a shock cancer diagnosis gave the husband-to-be just 12 months to live.

Sue Taylor and Okkie Nel, from Tangmere, Chichester, were hoping to get married one day with Okkie in remission from colon cancer but secondary tumours were found in August last year.

With only a few months left together, Sue has had to give up work to care for Okkie and friends have started a fundraising drive for the big day on June 16.

Sue said: “We’re just trying to give him the best life he can in the time he’s got left.

“He’s my world, I can’t explain what an amazing person he is.

“My youngest son is 30 and he’s absolutely devastated by this. He says, ‘I love him, mum, he’s like a dad to me’.”

The couple met through a dating site in their 50s and Sue said it was love at first sight.

“I turned around, he was there and I knew instantly,” Sue said. “It was a fireworks moment, without the fireworks, if that makes sense.

“We do everything together, we’re just always together. I just can’t imagine not having him around. He’s a wonderful man.”

Okkie, now 57, was initially diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and underwent surgery to remove parts of his colon before battling through chemotherapy.

But last year doctors found three further tumours in his stomach and chest, and said that without treatment Okkie had a month to live.

When Okkie’s chemotherapy left him bedridden for two weeks at a time, Sue stopped working to be with him.

A plea on radio and support from friends has so far seen a swell of support, with offers ranging from a venue to a hog roast for the evening but help with food would be useful.

Sue said the generosity of strangers has had her and Okkie in tears.

“It’s been so emotional,” she said. “The fact that people who have never met you donate to our justgiving page, donate their services, it just gives you faith in humanity again.”

She added that she hoped that men would be offered a colonoscopy at 50 to help spot colon cancer before it was too late.

“I just wish we could do more to make people more aware of this,” she said.

The appeal has already raised £320 of its £2,000 target.

To donate or offer support with the wedding, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/okkies-dream-wedding.

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