‘Dream wedding’ fundraiser launched for NHS nurse diagnosed with terminal cancer

Written by Gina Kalsi

A Sheffield Children’s Hospital nurse who has been diagnosed with cancer three times has had a fundraiser set up so her ‘dream wedding’ can come true.

Mother-of-one Jodie Bale, 30, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2019 when her daughter Sophie was only four months old.

The intensive care nurse from Gleadless has beaten cancer twice already. But during the third wave of chemotherapy the doctors informed her that her cancer was terminal.

Jodie’s fiancé, 34-year-old Dale Lancaster, said: “She’s been through quite a lot throughout the years. She’s spent a lot of time in the hospital, a lot of overnight stays, to which Sophie [their daughter] says ‘oh mummy’s in the hospital’ and I say ‘yes the doctors are making her better.’

“When she is video calling her mum in hospital and she’s asking ‘are you better now mummy? Are you coming home?’ It’s quite heart-breaking really.”

Mr Lancaster also lost his mother to cancer eight years ago on Christmas Day.

Their close friend, Richard Billard, has set up a GoFundMe page to help his close friends have the wedding of their dreams.

The 34-year-old owner of The New Anglers pub in Handsworth set up the page as a surprise to the couple.

He said: “He’s my best friend. He deserves it, so just being able to do it is just an achievement in itself and if I can get that money raised, it’s even better.

“Times are very hard with Covid, people losing their jobs and not being able to have Christmas last year. But being able to donate £10, £5, whatever it is, it’s just a big thank you to be honest.”

Richard Billard (left) with Dale Lancaster (middle). Credit: Richard Billard.

Before the donation page was set up, the couple were having to trim the guest list to afford their special day. Now, more than £6,000 has been raised.

Mr Lancaster said: “I feel absolutely gobsmacked, both of us do. When Richard told me about it on the Saturday and he told me he was hoping to raise quite a large amount, I never expected it to get to where it is now. It’s absolutely incredible.

“For us to have our dream wedding, it would mean the world. Especially for Jodie because she’s always wanted to get married and to have a nice, magical wedding. She doesn’t want anything extravagant, but she wants to be able to share this moment with all of her closest family and friends.”

There is a Christmas Fair on Sunday 12 November at the New Anglers pub in Handsworth to help raise money for the wedding.

Mr Billard also plans to set up a football match fundraiser for February time, which will include raffle prizes and football memorabilia for sale.

You can donate to Jodie and Dale’s GoFundMe by clicking here.

Cover image credits: Jodie Bale.

Written by Gina Kalsi

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