Terminal illness inspires Sudbury couple's £2,330 wedding fundraiser in support of Hope for Tomorrow mobile cancer care unit
When Lynsey Davies received her diagnosis of terminal cancer, she decided to begin ticking off the items on her bucket list.
One of those was to get married to her long-time partner Ben – but, as they did not want presents, they instead asked their wedding guests to provide donations to the cancer charity Hope for Tomorrow.
The couple, who live in Springfield Way, Sudbury, raised a total of £2,330.63 through their wedding collection, and sparked a wave of further donations for the benefit of the charity’s mobile cancer care unit (MCCU) in west Suffolk.
The ‘Frisbey’ bus currently travels to Sudbury and Thetford to provide treatment for people who struggle to travel to their nearest hospital, but it relies entirely on outside funding to meet its daily running cost of £198.
“We were completely speechless,” said Lynsey, 39, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. “We had been hoping to raise a few hundred, tops.
“I’m just so glad it has raised awareness, because a lot of people don’t know about the bus until, unfortunately, they have to use it.”
A training advisor at the YMCA charity in Ipswich, Lynsey explained she receives chemotherapy treatment at the MCCU when it visits Sudbury Community Health Centre in Church Field Road.
This has enabled her to continue work with minimal disruption, by cutting out the travel time to and from hospital.
“When I got the diagnosis that it was terminal, it was suggested that I retire and focus on my bucket list,” she said. “But I like my work.
“It has meant that, rather than half a day, I have an hour off work at most.
“It’s an absolute godsend. It’s literally a hospital ward in a trailer. It’s vital because it frees up waiting times at hospitals, which are understaffed and oversubscribed.
“The nurses are fabulous. They chat you through your worries and concerns, and it’s such a calm and relaxing atmosphere.”
Since their wedding, which took place at Sudbury Town Hall in November, the couple have continued to collect donations for the charity, including a £1,282 contribution from Howdens Joinery in Sudbury, where Ben’s son is employed.
Among the other items on Lynsey’s bucket list was her wish to drive a lorry, which she fulfilled on her wedding day when she took the wheel around the car park of AFC Sudbury, where both Ben and Lynsey are long-time volunteers.
They also hope to achieve her dream of seeing the Northern Lights some time this year.
“Right from hearing the news that it was terminal, it kind of hits you like a tonne of bricks,” said Ben, 47, who works as an insurance broker in Long Melford. “You have to make some big decisions.
“We decided we wanted to carry on as normal, and Lynsey is working as long as she can possibly can.
“It just helps. Whatever we can do with the time Lynsey has got left, we want to do.
“We were completely gobsmacked by the support. Not a lot of people know about Hope for Tomorrow, so the more we can do, the better. We know we are making a direct impact.
“Lynsey calls it the ‘party bus’. The atmosphere is fantastic and everyone is so nice there.”
More by this authorThomas Malina