Brave Worlingham mum gets her dream wedding day
PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 March 2016
A Worlingham mother of three battling terminal cancer has told of her perfect day as she married her partner of 12 years.
Sarah McAllister, now Mrs Effeny, and her partner Lee said their vows on Saturday surrounded by loved ones.
“It was really important to have everyone there,” said Mrs Effeny, 34. “They’ve done so much for me. I couldn’t ask for better friends and family.”
It was a day they might never have seen, as Mr Effeny proposed years ago and the couple were never in a rush to get married.
They went on to have three children together, Elsie-Mai, eight, Sid, three and Albert, nine months, and after finding out Mrs Effeny had incurable cancer, they were spurred on to try and create as many happy memories as they could for their young family.
Mrs Effeny had a brush with skin cancer in 2014, and while pregnant with their youngest son fell ill again. When Albert was born, she was told not only had the cancer returned, but it was in her brain, lungs, liver and spine.
Mrs Effeny was taking tablets to try and halt the spread of the disease, but after these stopped working she had radiotherapy and is now undergoing immunotherapy.
In between treatments the couple have taken their children to Center Parcs and Alton Towers using donations from well-wishers, but wanted to finally tie the knot.
Thousands of pounds poured in via an online donation page towards their big day, and family friends took part in a sponsored obstacle challenge which allowed the couple to start thinking about having a small wedding.
“We were just going to do a registry office wedding then one of the mums at the school said she had a lot of contacts and offered to phone them and see if she could sort anything out,” said Mrs Effeny.
“It was amazing because so many people donated their services, it means we had an amazing wedding, a dream wedding. I can’t thank them enough.”
Businesses including Perfection makeup, Chloe Green photography, The Jewellery Room, Sweeties of Beccles, Coes and Cupcakes for All Occasions donated various items and services towards the wedding at Carlton Manor in Carlton Colville, where the couple held their ceremony for free.
“It was everything we hoped it would be and more,” she said. “It was perfect, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
And as an extra surprise, Mrs Effeny’s favourite singer Olly Murs had recorded a congratulatory message for the newlyweds - played during the reception.
“I was gobsmacked,” she said. “It was a complete surprise.”
Supporting the couple on their big day were the bridesmaids - close friend Anette Clarke-Ward, Mrs Effeny’s niece Ellie Walker and the couple’s daughter Elsie-Mai, while the best man role was shared between Mr Effeny’s friends Marc Stoughton and Mark Rider. Their son Sid also played his part in the wedding as a page boy.
Mrs Effeny said: “Everyone kept asking me how I was feeling, but I wasn’t stressed.
“On the day I was excited, I didn’t get nervous. We’ve already got three children - we’re committed!”
Now the newlyweds are looking forward to their honeymoon in North Norfolk - which has been organised for them as a wedding present and are determined to enjoy themselves.
“I’m trying not to think too far ahead,” said Mrs Effeny. “We’re still buzzing from the wedding and I just want to enjoy every day.”