Community rallies to give sick mum dream wedding
A young mother facing an uphill battle with cancer aims to walk down the aisle tomorrow.
Vivian Fittall, a 20-year-old mother of one, will marry fiance Jonathan "Jack" Waller in the whirlwind wedding of her dreams, thanks to massive community support.
Jack proposed a week ago and the couple decided to marry quickly after doctors found incurable cancer in Vivian's bowel, liver and lungs.
The story has spread across Auckland's Hibiscus Coast community and further afield, bringing an amazing response.
Every detail for the wedding was covered, thanks to donations from across Auckland, volunteer wedding planner Fleur McDermott said.
"The cake, photographer, cars, flowers, venues, decorations, a celebrant - everything down to handmade decorations for wine glasses have been given," she said.
"Vivian found her perfect dress on Monday at a bridal shop in Albany, they gave it to her along with bridesmaid dresses. It's totally mind-blowing."
The couple will marry at the Red Beach Methodist Church and have a reception at the Whangaparaoa Golf Club.
"I've been liaising back and forwards with the couple as it is important for Vivian to have a hand in how her day looks," McDermott said.
"We have been able to get everything we need in one day, and now we are just finishing off the little details."
Even a second event, a giant garage sale, is being organised for tomorrow in Orewa to help fundraise for the family.
Fittall had just finished a young mum's course when she started having unusual abdominal pains about three weeks ago.
Parents Yahn and Wendy Fittall said: "Vivian thought it was just pain related to having a baby, but after getting checked out doctors found it was cancer.
"Doctors have classed the cancer as incurable but want to treat it with chemotherapy."
Fittall needs to be well enough to handle the treatment, but she is struggling to keep food down and has lost a lot of weight.
"She is now under 38 kilograms," her father said.
"Vivian is trying to stay positive, especially for her 9-month-old daughter Sophie who means everything to her. We would like to think Vivian will last as long as possible, but we also know this is a deadly disease."
A website has been set up for the family to receive donations for Sophie's future at givealittle.co.nz/cause/VivianandSophie.
Yahn Fittall said the community support had been amazing.
"We have had so many offers of help," he said.
"Even Sir Peter Leitch has been fundraising for us during the Auckland Nines. He raised $6500, and has given us 500 sausages to sell at the garage sale this weekend."
The Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre is hosting the garage sale from 10am to about 3pm.
Yahn Fittall said that through the ordeal they had discovered how important family really was. He said Vivian wanted people to stay positive about her situation.
To keep updated with Vivian's progress, visit facebook.com/vivianandsophie for information.
GARAGE SALE FUNDRAISER
Quality second-hand items for a fundraising garage sale on Saturday at the Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre can be dropped off at the centre before 6pm tonight.
It's at 214D Hibiscus Coast Highway, behind the Estuary Arts Centre in Orewa.
Event organiser Rachel Down says a bouncy castle, coffee, cool drinks and face painters will be there for the day.
The garage sale is from 10am to about 3pm Saturday.
''Everyone is invited to the garage sale with all funds being raised going to Jack, Vivian and Sophie,'' Rachel says.
There will only be cash available on the day.
Email Rachel, firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Justine Wilcox-Brown on 0275 105 466 for information.