In the Face of Adversity, Love is Everything. Well in this case, sadly, money is everything, because without it, Cat wouldn’t still be here and without more of it, there will be no more treatment.
Cat has terminal bowel cancer. Having been given just months to live, two and a half years ago, the NHS offered her palliative care and sent her home to live the last bit of her life.
Cat and her husband Darren were having none of it. They had had barely 8 precious years together were not ready to call it a day. After some heavy duty research they found professor Vogel in Germany. Through selling off their possessions and extensive fundraising they have been living from one treatment to the next. Living a full and happy life that Cat was told she would not have, but always in the shadow of where the next £5000 will come from.
Because £5000 is what it costs each time they go for treatment: flights, cheap hotels, treatment and medication. It’s proven to have been helping; reducing some of the areas of cancer; helping Cat, Darren and their family make more memories and share more love and friendship; but each time they need £5000, it is harder to find the money. They’ve sold all the things its easy to sell. Her community have been and continue to be generous and supportive and the local press have been telling her story too. But, its no longer fresh news. And that’s the reality of it.
Nobody knows how much longer Cat has, but we do know that she is determined to keep fighting and is going to enjoy every moment of her precious life
This week they celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary and they were holding another fundraiser for treatment funds so I decided to gift them a vow renewal ceremony whilst all their friends and family were around.
Today, we are gathered before the main music and party event to pause for a minute and take stock. To breathe in this very precious moment and acknowledge, everything they have achieved together, express gratitude, love, and eternal commitment to each other, in front of the people who matter to them the most. And to reaffirm the vows they made to each other 10 years ago, in front of you all, and ask you to affirm your commitment to continue to love, support and cherish them, whatever the future holds and however the future unfolds. Both Darren and Cat are such strong people, but even the strong amongst us need to replenish our strength. For them to do this they need all of you to provide your positive energy, some of your own strength and determination, and your open hearts.
Cat had recently been offered a course of radiotherapy by the NHS, she’d had a couple of sessions already, but she’d also had one that morning, I knew standing would not be an option so I arranged for them to sit. They sat under a gothic rose arch, I sat to one side, and their closest friends and family were invited to form a circle around them and sat on the grass, holding hands.