A YOUNG dad from Burnley who is suffering from a rare form of terminal cancer is planning to marry his sweetheart in a dream ceremony.
Tom Cooper (24), of Greenbrook Road, was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma in October last year.
The disease affects behind his nose and has spread into his lymph nodes, collar bone, under both arms and his lungs and doctors have told him it is in the advanced stages.
He hopes to marry the mother of his children, Tammy Dale (23), in April at Towneley Hall but, because Tom is too poorly to work and Tammy is his full-time carer, the pair are struggling financially.
Now friends and family of the couple are trying to raise the money to give them and their daughters Tienna (4) and 19-month-old Ziani a day to remember.
Doctors have told Tom, a former Habergham High School pupil, his illness cannot be cured and he missed Christmas with his family because he was admitted to hospital for an urgent operation after developing an infection.
Tammy said things were “touch and go” for a while and they did not know if he would pull through.
“He’s been told his illness is terminal but they haven’t given him a time frame as they don’t know as his illness is so rare,” she said.
“It would mean everything to us to get married and it would be such a special day. I would create memories could keep.
“Ziani is only 19 months old and she’s too young to understand what’s happening but Tienna is nearly five.
“The other day she was watching television and she turned to me and said ‘mummy, is daddy going to die?’
“She was sobbing for half-an-hour and that was horrible to see.”
An appeal has been launched on Facebook to raise money for the couple’s wedding. So far Towneley Hall have offered the venue free of charge and the family is hoping more businesses will come forward with offers of help.
Tammy added: “It’s something we can’t afford being a young family and not having time on our side we need as much help as possible, all help is welcome for a dream day with lots of precious memories and photos that will be with me and my children forever.
“Tom is an all round amazing, absolutely inspirational person. Perfect father, partner and always puts everyone else first no matter what. He is a selfless person and does everything and anything he can for our children no matter how he is feeling, and never complains.”
To help with fund-raising, visit www.facebook.com/burnleysdreamwedding
Any offers of help can also be emailed to Wesley Hall, who is helping to co-ordinate the wedding, at firstname.lastname@example.org