Northern Ireland news

Terminally-ill mother (28) will spend Christmas 'planning wedding and funeral'

Jade Caughey (28), from Portadown, Co Armagh, with her partner Lee Parker (37)

A TERMINALLY ill 28-year-old is to marry her long-term fiancé within the next few weeks after well-wishers helped organise the couple's big day in just a few hours.

Jade Caughey, from Portadown, Co Armagh, was diagnosed with cancer in May.

She completed several rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment a few weeks ago but the cancer returned.

She has now been given just months to live.

Her fiancé Lee Parker (37) said his partner is spending Christmas "planning for her wedding and her funeral".

The couple have sons Ben, aged six, and James, aged two.

Ms Caughey is also a stepmother to Kai (13).

"Jade Caughey and I have been together near eight years and cancer is going to take her away from me and our three sons," Mr Parker wrote on Facebook.

"She completed her treatment just over four weeks ago and the cancer came back with a vengeance, it attached itself to her brain and spinal cord making it impossible to operate.

"I'm losing my best friend and my kids are losing their mother to this horrible disease."

Mr Parker said Ms Caughey had endured two operations and punishing cancer treatment. She had to spend seven weeks in Belfast City Hospital and missed her son Ben's sixth birthday.

Mr Parker's cousin Marianne set up a web page to raise money for upcoming funeral costs and support for the family. The fundraising drive has already received more than £11,000 in donations.

The couple will also be able to marry after hundreds of businesses offered to help contribute to their wedding.

Businesses contacted the Portadown Cares charity after it asked wedding suppliers for help in organising the couple's big day.

Within just a few hours, wedding photographers, caterers, make-up artists and other suppliers had offered their services for free.

Mr Parker said he was thrilled by the response.

"It has been absolutely amazing," he said. "I can't tell you how much this has completely overwhelmed us. The generosity and support offered has blown my mind. Thank you all so very very much and I don't know how I could possibly thank you all."

To donate to the fundraising page, visit www.gofundme.com/f/jades-army

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