Young Qld cancer victim's wedding dream comes true
QUEENSLAND NEWS: A TERMINALLY ill man will marry his sweetheart after hundreds of strangers donated thousands of dollars to make their dream wedding a reality.
Six days ago Jake Simpson was told he had only weeks to live following a five-month battle with squamous cell carcinoma, a rare aggressive cancer of the head and neck.
The 22-year-old had already had his tongue and lymph nodes on the left side of his neck removed but it was not enough to stop the cancer spreading to his lungs.
"I decided not to have any further treatment, it may have given me a few more months but it wasn't worth it if I was going to be away from my family and in hospital all the time," Mr Simpson told The Sunday Mail.
Fiancee Carly Mulheran, 23, said they hoped to get married in September, but the devastating news forced them to change their plans.
"We were in shock, and we still are really, and that's when my friend Lauren called and said, 'Just leave it to me'," she said.
Lauren Grieg posted on Facebook asking for help and within hours she had received hundreds of offers from complete strangers donating flowers, cakes, venues and possible honeymoon options.
"I honestly still can't believe the response. These people don't even know us," Ms Mulheran said.
"We just went and had our fitting for wedding rings. Emma & Roe and Michael Hill both told us to pick whatever we want, I could never have dreamt of this."
Mr Simpson said he hoped their brief moment of good fortune would raise cancer awareness.
"If this helps get the word out about the rare type of cancer I have, that will be the best gift," he said.
The couple, who have a 14-month-old son, will marry at the Dogs Queensland headquarters surrounded by friends and family, with help from a volunteer army of wait staff, wedding photographers and bar tenders.
"I'll never know how to properly thank all the people who have donated," Ms Mulheran said.
"We're definitely going to invite everyone to the wedding if they would like to come."
Jake Simpson, with Carly Mulheran, says he hopes the couple's brief moment of good fortune will raise awareness of his rare form of cancer. Picture: Jamie Hanson