Bride gifted wedding
What is NETs cancer?
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.’’
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…laine Iketau and Daniel Milo married in Northcote on Saturday after Elaine received a shock terminal cancer diagnosis.