'No words' to describe Edinburgh people's support for cancer patient with just weeks to live
A WOMAN who is helping organise her cancer-stricken friend’s wedding has thanked the people of Edinburgh for their generosity and compassion.
Hazel Jack, 42, who has battled breast cancer for six years, has been given just weeks to live.
And family and friends face a race against time to fulfil her dying wish to marry her fiance, Jonathan Gauld in West Lothian while she still can.
The pair, who have a three-year-old son, Gareth, were planning to tie the knot later this year but bridesmaid Gillian Anderson, 42, said: “The terminal diagnosis escalated plans.”
The wedding will take place Thursday next week and Gillian along with fellow bridesmaids Wendy Jack and Emma Davies took to social media with a public appeal for help with everything from the bride’s dress to a bouncy castle.
In an emotional Facebook post, Gillian said: “After six long years of battling cancer, our brave sister and friend Hazel’s tired body can no longer cope. Her dying wish is to have the wedding of her dreams, we need your help to make that a reality. Next week on Thursday 30th January.... CAN YOU HELP WITH....”
And she listed the items they hope people might be able to come up with, including: band, music, bouncy castle/children’s entertainment, flowers, bouquet, tables, seats, room decorations, photographer/videographer, make-up for the bridesmaids, alcohol and soft drinks, bride’s dress, kilts, hats – and an ivory furry bolero.
Gillian also attached a letter from Larry Hayward, consultant medical oncologist, at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital, to confirm the authenticity of the post and the urgency of the request.
Dr Hayward’s letter says: “Ms Jack has a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, which is no longer amenable to treatment and therefore terminal in nature, with an expected longevity of weeks.
“Ms Jack and her fiance, wish to get married within the next week and all the help possible will be most appreciated. I thank you for your time and consideration.”
Gillian said that she had “no words” to explain how much the kind messages and donations have meant to Hazel and herself.
She said: “I put the post up less than 24 hours ago, at 8pm last night, and I woke up to over 2000 messages on Facebook, Whatsapp and Messenger.
“There are no words to describe how the generosity of people affects you. It’s been completely overwhelming and Hazel and I are both so grateful for the amount of kindness so many people have shown.”
She added: “Organising the wedding has been a good distraction from everything that has been happening.
“For the past six years we have watched Hazel fight with cancer, she never complained she just got on with it. Now, this wedding is a chance for us to do as much as we can for her.
“She is the type of person who always knew what she wanted, we grew up together and she always said that she wanted to be married and be a mum. This wedding is her dream.”
People were quick to make generous offers of help, posting messages both on the bridesmaid’s Facebook page and in response to the Evening News online story about the appeal.
Amanda Laurie offered to make a cake for the wedding.
While Laura McIntosh wrote: “I have a full set of Scottish wedding flowers I would happily donate.”