Touching: Groom spends last days raising money for wife's ailing daughter
Tom Attwater knows he is dying of a brain tumour, but his priority is raising £500,000 for his wife’s daughter Kelli
Vowing to love each other for the rest of their lives was a particularly poignant moment of Tom Attwater and Joely Smith’s wedding day. Tragically, their lives together will be cut short for the bridegroom has a terminal brain tumour.
Marrying Joely last month was high on 31-year-old Tom’s bucket list. But at the top is raising £500,000 (Rs 4,93,18,342) for pioneering treatment to save their five-year-old daughter Kelli, who survived cancer twice but has a high chance of relapse.
He added: “Thank you so, so much to everyone who has donated. We still need your help.”
“I’ve no chances of life left but if we reach our target then Kelli has a great chance to live a long and happy life. Please help.”
Joely (27), described the conflicting emotions of organising a dream wedding while facing the heartbreaking fact that she will be a young widow.
“There were lots of sniffles coming from our guests as Tom and I said our marriage vows. And when I look at my pictures I spot damp, squashed tissues in the hands of many of our friends and family. I wish our wedding day had not been tinged with sadness.”
“I tried to keep Tom and Kelli’s cancer to the back of my mind and live in the moment. And we got swept along in the happiness of the occasion just like any other bride and groom. It was truly wonderful.”
“Tom’s scans over the last few months have shown his tumour is growing. So much so that there was talk of us postponing the wedding,” revealed Joely.
She added, “Our budget was tight because most of our money goes towards Kelli’s appeal. I don’t need designer bridal shoes but do need to know that my little girl has the best chance of life if she’s diagnosed with cancer again, which doctors say is likely.
So I bought my gown from a warehouse sale and extras, like favours, from eBay. Most of our guests donated to the appeal, which means more to us than any gift.”