A COUPLE are urgently planning a dream wedding after the groom was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Dad of two 24-year-old Tom Cooper and his fiancee Tammy Dale have stepped up plans to get hitched after being told he had a rare form of advanced throat cancer.
The Burnley couple, who had previously put off wedding plans because of money worries, are now appealling for help in raising funds for their big day.
Because of the rare nature of his illness doctors have told Tom that they do not know how long he has left.
And full-time carer Tammy said she hopes that the wedding will be a ‘legacy of love’ for her and their two children.
Friends have now rallied round to help organise the wedding and raise the cash needed so the couple can enjoy their last weeks together.
He was diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma in October and, despite the couple already being engaged, he presented her with a ring on Valentine’s Day and they are now desperate to make sure their big day can happen as soon as possible.
Former nail technician Tammy, 23, has quit her job to be Tom’s full-time carer and he has given up his job as a maintenance worker for Accent Housing due to his ill health.
She said: “As a young family, who are out of work because of circumstances beyond our control, we can not afford to get married on our own.
“All we want to do is create precious memories and a legacy of love for us as a couple and our children.
“It would be absolutely fantastic and would mean so very much if there was anything at all that anybody could do to help us create our dream day.
“Tom is an all-round amazing, inspirational person. He is a perfect father and partner and always puts everyone else first no matter what.
“He is a selfless person who gives our children everything even when he is feeling poorly.”
Tom and Tammy hope the wedding will be in early April.
Close friend of the couple, Wesley Hall, is leading the dream wedding campaign.
He said: “Tammy is a good friend and I when I heard about her situation on Facebook I just wanted to help.
“My background is in sales and marketing and I thought I could help them get a really special day.
“What they’re going through is unimaginable and I want to help them have the best day possible.”
They met nearly 10 years ago when they were teenagers, have been together for four years.
They have two daughters, 19-month-old Ziani and Tienna, four, who is a Read Primary School pupil and live in Greenbrook Road, Burnley.
Tammy said: “Just before the summer last year Tom started complaining of a sore neck. We thought it was his glands so were not overly worried until a family member urged us to get it checked out.
“During the earlier doctors appointments Tom was told it was an infection and given antibiotics, but when the symptoms didn’t ease he was referred to a consultant who carried out a biopsy.
“Immediately after the biopsy the consultant told us he was almost certain there were white cancerous cells but we would have to wait for the test results to be 100 per cent sure.
“That wait was absolutely awful, our minds just worked overtime imagining the worst.
“When the results came back they confirmed our fears. Tom had cancer, a rare one at that, and doctors were not able to cure it.”
Doctors told the couple that Tom was in the advanced stages of terminal cancer and that he had had the disease for at least two years.
Further scans showed the former maintenance worker had cancer behind the nose, in the throat, in the lymph nodes of the neck, in the collar bone, under both arms and in his lungs.
Medics said his condition was so rare they were unsure how to treat him.
After several rounds of chemotherapy the former Accent Housing worker was rushed into hospital with an infection shortly before Christmas.
Tammy, of said: “After all the bad news we had received we wanted to have a really special family Christmas at home with our girls.
“But that was not to be, It was a very emotional, heartbreaking week. I spent every day in the hospital with Tom and the children had to spend every day and night with my parents.
“It was touch and go for a couple of days which made us realise the end may well be nearer than any of us think or expect. The doctors just don’t know how long he has got left because his condition is so rare.”
Anyone who can help is asked to visit www.facebook.com/burnleysdreamwedding