'We will make her final months really special': Daughter plans to wed at hospice before her mother dies from skin cancer
Preparing a wedding is always an emotional affair. But Jamie-Lee Whellem is likely to shed more tears than most brides-to-be as she rushes to tie the knot before her mother dies from skin cancer.
The 21-year-old, is bringing forward her wedding to her partner of eight months, Harry Hopwood, 27, so her beloved mum Linda Stace, 45, will be able to see her oldest daughter walk up the aisle.
The admirable couple also plan to bring up Jamie-Lee’s younger brother Ben Hull, 12, and sister Lauren Hull, 11, on Linda’s behalf.
Special time: Jamie-Lee Whellam (left) pictured with her family, has brought forward her wedding so her terminally-ill mother, Linda (in pink), can see her walk down the aisle
While they prepare for the wedding, the family will be holding a host of fundraising events too, to raise cash for St Luke’s Hospice, where Linda is spending her final months.
Jamie-Lee, of Long Riding, Basildon, Essex, said: 'Harry and I were going to get married this year, but because of mum, he suggested we bring it forward.
'We might do the ceremony at St Luke’s or, if she is well enough, we will do it at a register office nearby.
'When we told her we were going to get married she was over the moon. It has all happened so fast, but we will make her final months really special.'
Two years ago, Linda noticed a mole on her leg had changed shape and colour, so she immediately went to the doctor.
She was told it was a melanoma, and had it removed. With regular check-ups it seemed everything was fine.
It wasn’t until last year when Linda found a lump in her groin area she discovered the cancer had moved to her lymph nodes.
Loving family: Jamie-Lee (top, right) with her mother, Linda, and siblings Lauren and Ben, who Jamie-Lee has promised to bring up with her fiance, Harry
Linda had a major operation in November to have the cancer removed, but a few weeks later doctors discovered a large tumour in her stomach.
Jamie-Lee added: 'Mum’s condition has got so much worse in the past few weeks. It has all happened so fast and we are all trying to take it in.
'Mum was moved to St Luke’s just after Christmas, and she has been so much happier and comfortable. The nurses have been amazing.'
Linda’s children have all been keeping busy raising money for the hospice.
Jamie will take part in the St Luke’s ten-mile run on February 26 at Ford Dunton, in Basildon. Lauren has organised a non-uniform day at Cherrytree Primary School and Ben is holding a raffle at Beauchamps School in Wickford.
If you would like to donate, please visit: www.justgiving.com/Jamie-lee -Whellem