Tasha Burton had been planning to marry her fiancé and build a family. When cancer derailed those dreams, her best friend stepped in to help.
As the Daily Mail reports, the 36-year-old U.K. mom got engaged to fiancé Daniel Corley in 2016. Not long after, she gave birth to their son, Alaric.
Tasha had experienced stomach pains while she was pregnant but dismissed her nausea, fatigue, and aches as pregnancy side effects. However, her health problems continued after the birth of her son, and the pain got worse.
About six months after Tasha’s son was born, doctors diagnosed her with bowel cancer. She went through surgery to remove the tumors, followed by chemotherapy.
After learning her cancer was terminal, Tasha was determined to spend as much time as possible with her family. She hoped to beat the odds. In August, she told Yahoo News that she was going to fight for the sake of her son:
“I don’t want to die, I want to see him grow up. I have to fight and feel positive and stay strong.
We should be planning our future together — our wedding, holidays, days out, future schools for Alaric where I should be walking him through the school gates — but now we’re also having to consider funeral plans.”
Tasha did fight, but in November, a follow-up scan revealed that the tumors had spread. Doctors informed the mom she only had about two weeks left to live.
On November 26, Tasha moved to hospice care. That’s when Tasha’s best friend, Kat Leyden, decided to give her friend the wedding she always dreamed of.
Leyden put out an appeal for help via Facebook and was inundated with offers from friends, family, and businesses. With the assistance of the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, she was able to organize the wedding within 36 hours.
In that short time, they were able to get a photographer, cake, wedding dress, suit for the groom, flowers, buffet for 60, videographer, make-up, and a venue stylist. Leyden told the Mail:
“Without the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, we would have been completely lost but the Hospice has put all the pieces of the jigsaw together. The Hospice’s mantra is all about helping people to live their precious lives well and this is that ethos in action.”
The wedding was held at the hospice. Tasha was given away by her son and father, and the couple walked down the aisle to “Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur.
After the wedding, Daniel told the Mail, “It’s been the most amazing day — I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tash look so beautiful.”
Tasha called the wedding “lovely,” and “absolutely amazing,” and expressed her gratitude to everyone who worked to put it together so quickly. She told the Mail:
“We got together in July on my birthday and six months later we were engaged. We knew it was love. Getting married is something we’ve always wanted to do so today really is the fulfillment of a dream and we can’t thank everyone enough.”
Tasha said she was “so happy” after getting the chance to walk down the aisle at last.
Sadly, only a week after her wedding, Tasha passed away. Her husband shared the news via a Facebook post:
I am truly sorry to have to tell you that my beautiful wife sadly lost her fight tonight at 5.30pm. She passed away peacefully surrounded by love. I am absolutely devastated but know that she will live on through our beautiful son Alaric.
Tasha was surrounded by family and friends and fought to stay with us for as long as she could. She was a truly special person and will be missed by many people, especially her husband, son and family.
In the midst of Tasha’s cancer battle, friends set up a Just Giving page to help make memories for the family. The money from the ongoing crowdfunding effort will now be used for funeral expenses and to support her son and husband.