Terminally ill St Albans mum is gifted dream wedding organised in 36 hours to beat prognosis

PUBLISHED: 14:25 05 December 2018

Tasha Burton. Picture:  Ayeesha Walsh at Moments in Eternity Wedding Photography

Tasha Burton. Picture: Ayeesha Walsh at Moments in Eternity Wedding Photography

Archant

A terminally ill mother’s dream wedding was pulled together in just 36 hours after she was given only two weeks to live.

Tasha Burton, Daniel Corley and their son, Alaric . Picture:  Ayeesha Walsh at Moments in Eternity Wedding PhotographyTasha Burton, Daniel Corley and their son, Alaric . Picture: Ayeesha Walsh at Moments in Eternity Wedding Photography

In October 2017 Tasha Burton, of St Albans’ Ladies Grove, was building a life with her six-month-old son Alaric and fiancé Daniel Corley when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

The couple have been together for about three years, after meeting at work and becoming an item on Tasha’s birthday.

However, their plans were turned upsidedown when a recent scan revealed that Tasha’s tumours had spread to her lungs, liver, and lymph nodes.

The 36-year-old was told she had only two weeks left and she was admitted to The Hospice of St Francis at 10am on Tuesday, November 27.

Tasha Burton. Picture:  Ayeesha Walsh at Moments in Eternity Wedding PhotographyTasha Burton. Picture: Ayeesha Walsh at Moments in Eternity Wedding Photography

Tasha’s best friend of 23 years, Kat Leyden, sent out an urgent appeal on Facebook for help to organise a last minute ceremony, asking for everything from a photographer to a videographer, make-up artist, cake, dress, groom’s suit, venue, stylist, flowers, and catering for 60 guests.

Kat was helped by a charity which organises and funds weddings for terminally ill people, called The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation.

Within minutes, she was inundated with donations from Herts businesses - meaning Tasha and Daniel were able to tie the knot just 36 hours later, at 1pm on Wednesday, November 28.

Kat said: “[The hospice] has just been fantastic, from lending me a fundraising phone yesterday when my own phone battery died, to sorting, managing and coordinating all the offers of help that have come in. They even hid Tasha’s dress in the laundry room so that Dan wouldn’t see it.

Tasha Burton getting her makeup done. Picture:  Ayeesha Walsh at Moments in Eternity Wedding PhotographyTasha Burton getting her makeup done. Picture: Ayeesha Walsh at Moments in Eternity Wedding Photography

“Anything that can be done to make their day special, the hospice has supported and aided.

“The hospice’s mantra is all about helping people to live their precious lives well and this is that ethos in action.

“The excitement from the nurses to the chaplain to the volunteers and cleaners has been palpable. We’ve really felt you’ve wanted to make this day as special as we do.”

Tasha walked down the aisle to James Arthur’s Say You Won’t Let Go and was given away by both her father David and now 19-month-old Alaric.

Tasha Burton and Daniel Corley. Picture:  Ayeesha Walsh at Moments in Eternity Wedding PhotographyTasha Burton and Daniel Corley. Picture: Ayeesha Walsh at Moments in Eternity Wedding Photography

The ceremony was held in a marquee set up by The Hospice of St Francis for another event and the service was led by the charity’s Chaplain Ray Ashley-Brown.

Tasha said: “It was just lovely, absolutely amazing. I was just so taken aback by it all.

“People’s generosity was absolutely stunning and getting it all organised in 36 hours was just incredible. I was so happy.

“Dan and I have known each other since May 2015 when we met at work, we got together in July on my birthday and six months later we were engaged.

“We knew it was love.

“Getting married is something we’ve always wanted to do so today really is the fulfilment of a dream and we can’t thank everyone enough.”

Walking out as husband and wife to John Legend’s All of Me, Daniel and Tasha released two white homing doves to symbolise love, togetherness, luck and hope.

Daniel added: “It’s been the most amazing day - I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tash look so beautiful.”

The Hospice of St Francis, which is based in Berkhamsted, relies on donations to provide free care for 2,000 people every year affected by life-limiting illness.

It thanked all the businesses which donated goods and services to make Tasha’s wedding possible.

Find out more about the charity at www.stfrancis.org.uk/

The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation was set up in 2012 by a woman who wanted to get married but was limited by a breast cancer diagnosis.

It says: “For many families, the memory of a happy wedding day can be a cherished moment.

“Surrounded by family and friends, enjoying each other’s company and being full of joy and laughter; a wedding day is an occasion where everyone can look back and remember that special event, and smile.”

To find out more, visit www.weddingwishingwell.org.uk/

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CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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