Liam Thompson's dream wedding backed by 20 businesses: 22-year-old is battling cancer
A young cancer sufferers' dream wedding is one step closer after more than 20 local businesses have come forward with offers to donate their services on the big day.
The flurry of requests to help came through just hours after a heart-felt story on the front page of the Telegraph hit the shelves last week – and more offers flowed in over the bank holiday weekend.
Liam Thompson, 22, of Broughton, has already lost his leg to cancer and is undergoing his third and final round of chemotherapy.
With Liam briefly back at home in between hospital stays, he now has chance to focus on piecing together wedding plans with his fiancée Alice Faulkner – with the kind help of local businesses.
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Miss Faulkner, 21, said: "We want to say a really big thank you to all the businesses that have come forward so far, it really means a lot to Liam and I, that you have come forward and we are really grateful."
Liam was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – an aggressive form of bone cancer – in August last year.
The couple were engaged in November last year and had set their hearts on marrying three years later but after the engagement, Mr Thompson had to have his left leg amputated as a result of the cancer cells spreading and now has a prosthetic leg.
And he faced another blow earlier this year when the cancer spread to his lungs, resulting in an operation in May to remove the lumps.
Now he is undergoing his final round of chemotherapy at St James's University Hospital in Leeds and, once complete, he will have an anxious wait to see if it has been a success.
Mr Thompson has been told by doctors that if the treatment does not work, there is nothing more they can do.
He does not know how long he has to live – and has revealed he wants to wed his fiancée as soon as he can.
Mr Thompson said: "The round of chemotherapy I've just had has hit me really hard. I've been really poorly and nearly ended up in intensive care because I got an infection. So I had to stay in longer and have a course of antibiotics.
"I go back on Thursday but it's been good to be able to come home again because it's hard being there all the time.
"I am really impressed with the response so far, we've been talking about what we would like to have at the wedding.
"It's been hard picking a date."
The couple are looking at provisionally booking the wedding with a church service at St Hybald's Church in Scawby in October.
And with just several weeks until the big day, the couple have already made headway with raising around £550 to cover the statutory fee for the church service.
Miss Faulkner said: "It's been brilliant. We've had quite a few people come to us – it's been really good how the community has come together to help us. We didn't expect it at all. We have had people contact us offering to do my make-up and nails, and a DJ has offered to do the disco. We've had family friends donating money to us which we will put towards the church fee.
"Abbey Village care home donated £100 and Brigg Karate gave us £250 towards the wedding.
"The wedding feels a bit more real now."
Staff on the ward at the hospital have been keeping up-to-date with the couple's journey.
Miss Faulkner said: "Liam's sister came over to Leeds and brought the paper with her. The nurses have read the article and they're really pleased for us.
"Liam was really poorly last week he's been up and down ever since. Hopefully the chemotherapy will work. He will end his treatment on Sunday and will go back a week later for the last one then there is a scan to go for in around three weeks' time.
"The planning for the wedding has given us something to focus on. I'm looking forward to picking my wedding dress plus planning and piecing the wedding all together."
Scawby Church vicar, Reverend David Oames, has helped the couple secure their dream church to get married in.
He said: "I read the article on the internet and I started to get worried that if all the businesses came together and a reception venue, that they hadn't booked the church.
"The couple now need to come and see me to fill out a form, providing they are eligible to get married at the church by meeting the relevant criteria."
There are statutory fees to get married in church, the inclusive cost to get married at Scawby church is around £551.50 which includes the optional costs such as for bell ringers and a choir or there is the basic service at £287.50.
The couple will have to pay a small fee to have their bands read at Broughton church three consecutive Sundays before the wedding.
Liam , who works as a roaster at Lincoln and York Coffee Company on the Elsham Wold Industrial Estate, initially went to the doctors in December 2010 after thinking he had pulled a ligament.
He was not officially diagnosed until the following year when a biopsy at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham confirmed it was osteosarcoma.
Miss Faulkner, who works as a machine operator at the same firm as her partner, said they had no way of knowing whether he will get better.