Bride gifted wed­ding

What is NETs can­cer?

North Shore Times - - FRONT PAGE - KASHKA TUNSTALL

Friends and fam­ily banded to­gether to make the dreams of one bride come true fol­low­ing a di­ag­no­sis of ter­mi­nal can­cer.

Elaine Ike­tau mar­ried long time part­ner Daniel Milo on Satur­day.

The pair wed at St Mary’s Catholic Church in North­cote, 11 years to the day they met, with their loved ones pulling the ser­vice to­gether in a just a week.

Last month, the 31-year-old mother-of-two was di­ag­nosed with stage four pan­cre­atic neu­roen­docrine car­ci­noid can­cer.

The rare can­cer, which has spread from her pan­creas to her liver, is in­cur­able. She has not Neu­roen­docrine tu­mours, or NETs, af­fect the mes­sen­ger cells of the body. It is more com­mon than brain, ovar­ian or cer­vi­cal can­cer. One Kiwi a day is di­ag­nosed with NETs.

been given a life ex­pectancy, but has been told the can­cer is ag­gres­sive.

The shock of the news prompted the cou­ple, who have been en­gaged for a decade, to fi­nally think about their wed­ding.

‘‘Hear­ing that, me and Dan just wanted to quickly get mar­ried,’’ Elaine Ike­tau said.

Ike­tau’s doc­tor has rec­om­mended a life-pro­long­ing, but ex­pen­sive treat­ment called pep­tide re­cep­tor ra­dionu­clide ther­apy, which can slow the disease’s growth and re­lieve symp­toms.

The ther­apy is not funded in New Zealand, forc­ing the cou­ple to fundraise for Ike­tau to un­dergo the treat­ment - which has a $50,000 price tag - in Aus­tralia.

So far $36,000 has been raised, but the full cost of treat­ment and travel has to be made in or­der for it to be pos­si­ble.

With Ike­tau no longer able to work, and the fundraiser in mind, the cou­ple wanted to keep wed­ding costs as low as pos­si­ble.

They planned a small, sim­ple cer­e­mony with a cel­e­brant, and bick­ies and tea for a re­cep­tion.

But fam­ily and friends, des­per­ate to see the cou­ple get the wed­ding they de­serve, de­cided to or­gan­ise what Ike­tau de­scribed as her ‘‘dream wed­ding.’’

Of­fers of helped poured in fam­ily took care of the dress, re­cep­tion and dec­o­ra­tions, while friends or­gan­ised the cer­e­mony, the cake, make-up and hair, jew­ellery and pho­tog­ra­phy.

The cou­ple’s 9-year-old son Lalakai served as grooms­man while 6-year-old daugh­ter Lorielle stood by mum as brides­maid.

On the day, Ike­tau’s tears came read­ily.

‘‘It was so spe­cial. We had all of our clos­est loved ones in the hall. I could ad­dress ev­ery­one be­cause I knew them and I loved them.’’

Con­tin­ued on page 3

SUP­PLIED

…laine Ike­tau and Daniel Milo mar­ried in North­cote on Satur­day af­ter Elaine re­ceived a shock ter­mi­nal can­cer di­ag­no­sis.

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