Honeymooners return

SPECIAL COUPLE: Vivian and Jack Waller with daughter Sophie on their wedding day. The couple are back from their honeymoon and are staying in a hospice.
SPECIAL COUPLE: Vivian and Jack Waller with daughter Sophie on their wedding day. The couple are back from their honeymoon and are staying in a hospice.

Wedding bliss continued for Vivian and Jack Waller with a three-night honeymoon at Treetops Lodge in Rotorua after their whirlwind wedding.

The Hibiscus Coast couple were engaged for a week and married on February 22 after Vivian was diagnosed with cancer in several organs.

The Hibiscus Coast community donated, volunteered and offered everything needed for the wedding with generosity extending to the honeymoon retreat.

"We had a few ideas of where to go for the honeymoon but decided we wanted to stay at a luxury lodge, and after a quick search Treetops Lodge in Rotorua stood out."

"We were supposed to be there three nights but unfortunately on the last night we had to go to Rotorua Hospital because Vivian was in a lot of pain.

"The staff at the lodge were so kind and friendly, they really helped Viv out if there was anything she needed. The general manager even drove us to the hospital."

Viv got to shoot her first gun at the luxury lodge, hitting bottled water targets.

"They're (bottles of water) amazing to shoot at because they explode so well. Turns out Viv is a crack shot which was kind of scary."

They also went on safari around the 1000ha premises.

"They (staff) drove us around and showed us animals; we spotted four out of the five deer species they have, as well as horses, wild rams, wild cats and hares. The water buffalo were avoiding us though."

A highlight for Jack was the top-class cooking.

"They have game chefs there and they take what the visitors shoot on the property and plate it.

"It was nice to try different meats. Viv isn't much of a game-eater but I enjoyed it."

The couple returned on Sunday last week and Viv checked into Hibiscus Hospice.

"Viv was strong and checked herself into hospice by herself as I had got a virus and was sick. We had to spend the whole day separated as I didn't want her to get sick and I was in pain."

After recovering Jack moved into the hospice.

"The people here are amazing. I've never appreciated what the hospice does for people, but being at the forefront is an eye-opener."

The family are taking things a day at a time with doctors appointments this week.

At this stage Viv may not be well enough for chemotherapy.

"If she gets chemotherapy she will get sicker, and so it's quality versus quantity. We are aiming for quantity."

A fundraising page was created to help support the family and the future of the couple's child Sophie. To donate visit givealittle.co.nz/cause/VivianandSophie.

The couple would like to send a message to the community:

"To have such a beautiful wedding and reception was just amazing. To thank the endless number of people who helped would take days. At the least - thank you so much to all those who supported us, to our family and friends, to wedding planner Fleur McDermott who made it all possible and to those on the Hibiscus Coast group page on Facebook. Thank you."

Rodney Times