Mum's wedding vow wish after terminal diagnosis

Craig and Simone are struggling with the cancer diagnosis

Simone and Craig Callaghan plan to renew their vows following Simone's terminal cancer diagnosis. - Credit: Craig Callaghan

Renewing wedding vows in front of loved ones is the most important wish for a mum of five after learning her cancer has become terminal. 

Simone Callaghan, from Pinewood, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer shortly before her 30th birthday last year and saw the community rally to support her family to send them on holiday to Florida. 

Simone and Craig Callaghan with their three sons in front of a fountain in Florida

Simone, her husband Craig, and three of her children on their American adventure - Credit: Simone Callaghan

Returning from the trip, doctors confirmed her tumour had grown despite extensive chemotherapy treatment. 

Simone, 30, said: "The hardest thing to do was tell my children.

"Last year we were planning to have a baby and this year I'm planning a funeral and starting a will to make sure they have everything they need."

To ensure her family has happy memories, she and husband Craig began planning to renew their vows next May, as the children and many family members could not attend their lockdown wedding.

The couple had no reception, speeches or a first dance when they married on August 15, 2020, due to restrictions.

Craig and Simone Callaghan, husband and wife, are trying to cope with her cancer diagnosis

Craig and Simone Callaghan have been married since the summer of 2020 - Credit: Craig Callaghan

Simone said: "I said we'd like to do it in May next year, they [hospital staff] sat down with me and said 'I do not think you're going to be here then, I think it will be too late'. So my husband and I went back to the drawing board.

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"We looked at October 28, again, they came back to me and said to me 'I think you need to be doing this in August."

Simone has been overwhelmed by the community once again as people have come forward to help the family afford the renewal which is booked for August 6 at the Belstead Brook hotel in front of 86 members of their family.

She said: "I'm so overwhelmed, even though I had so much support from people to go to America, people are still going out of their way to help me. I cannot thank them enough.

"This is going to be the last time I see all my loved ones together, that's why the renewal is so important to me. People go to a wedding to have a good time, they have a dance and it's never sad.

"I want for my husband and for my children to look back and not be sad although it is the last time we were together. 

"I know that when I go they will have happy memories."  

She also urged people to push to go to their GP and get seen if they feel something is wrong.

She said: “In the last eight months I have gone from a tumour that could be cut out of my bowel to terminally ill. My life has been snatched from me.” 

"Unfortunately, it is not a positive outcome for me but the staff are doing everything they possibly can to make sure I'm comfortable and doing everything to make sure my wishes come true."

To support the family's fundraising visit Go Fund Me or join the Callaghan Fundraiser Facebook group here.