Couple bring wedding forward after cancer diagnosis

Friends as well as strangers are rallying around a Shifnal couple to give them a wonderful wedding after a young mum's shock cancer diagnosis.

Ruth Hall and Gavin Barwick
Ruth Hall and Gavin Barwick

Ruth Hall, 32, and her doting husband-to-be Gavin Barwick, 29, immediately brought forward their wedding from 2023 to next month after she was told in May that her cancer is incurable.

"We are taking it one day at a time with the treatment," said Ruth, who lives with Gavin at their home in Newport Road.

"I have more cancer-free days than cancer days and I am ticking the days off to our wedding on September 2.

"We immediately wanted to bring the wedding forward after the diagnosis showed I had breast cancer and it had spread to my liver, lungs, lymph nodes and hip bone."

Loving Gavin immediately gave up his job in security so he could drive the woman he loves to her many appointments for chemotherapy and hormone treatments.

Ruth and Gavin

The couple met seven years ago and Ruth has two children with Gavin and two from a previous relationship. They are aged from 10 years to nine months.

"We have told the children, and we took it quite hard to start with. I have had all the questions, including 'am I going to die'," said Ruth.

"It's not terminal," she added. "We are trying to keep it under control."

Gavin proposed to Ruth at Liverpool Docks in July 2017.

"I told him not to go down on one knee to ask, but I knew what he was about to do and we ended up crying at the docks," she said.

The response from other people has been remarkable after she posted a plea for financial help with wedding costs on social media, with more than £1,000 raised so far.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise as much as possible to help pay for much-reduced costs for their big day at Casey's Cordingley Hall, in Donnington.

Ruth and Gavin with fundraiser Tracey McCue, right

Serial charity fundraiser Tracey McCue, who works at Severn Hospice in Telford, immediately swung into action, sorting out a family day trip to Blackpool.

"I met Ruth online in such a heartbreaking situation after someone tried to scam her," said Tracey who has formed a strong bond of friendship with the family.

"I have been fundraising for 10 years for various causes and immediately wanted to help Ruth and Gavin.

"Ruth's case shows how life can change very quickly," added Tracey who organised a charity fun day which was held at the Mallard pub in Brookside, Telford, on Sunday.

The Go Fund Me page can be found at gofund.me/c6312f72

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