Doncaster cancer mum’s joy at hospice wedding

Andrea is pictured with husband Mark and the boys.
Andrea is pictured with husband Mark and the boys.

The wedding dream of a terminally-ill bride battling cancer came true when she tied the knot at Doncaster’s St John’s Hospice.

Mum-of-five Andrea Carroll had married her husband Mark in a small ceremony at the couple’s Mexborough home a few weeks ago.

But when staff at the Balby hospice treating Andrea heard of the wedding, they wanted to help her celebrate her big day all over again - by arranging for the marriage to be blessed at the Weston Road hospice’s chapel.

Andrea, aged 36, who uses a wheelchair, was wheeled down the aisle by Mark.

The ceremony was watched by the couple’s five boys Chad, 16, Kyle, 12, Calvin, eight, Keeton, seven, and DJ, five, who all donned their smartest suits for the occasion.

And the big day was also celebrated with a wedding buffet at the hospice, enjoyed by friends, relatives and staff.

Andrea, who was initially diagnosed with cervical cancer back in 2011, was told in December 2013 that the cancer had returned to her spine and that it was incurable.

“It’s been very tough,” she said. “When the cancer came back, the news hit us like a brick this time.

Added Andrea: “There is nothing they can do for me other than keep my pain under control.

“When I came to the hospice one of the nursing staff suggested getting our recent wedding blessed.

“The ball started rolling and all the planning happened so quickly.”

The mum admitted she was bursting with pride when she clapped eyes on Mark and her sons in all their finery for the big day.

“The lads loved the wedding,” added Andrea.

“As soon as I saw them all in their suits I started crying. My husband also scrubbed up really well.

“The blessing was absolutely lovely and it has created special memories.”

Rev Meg Burton, Head of Chaplaincy for Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust which runs the hospice, said: “I am so glad we could work with Andrea and the family to create such a special day. It was very moving.

“I would also like to thank everyone who helped us, especially the staff at the hospice, the florist and the photographer.”