Wedding gives brief reprieve

SHABNAM DASTGHEIB
Last updated 05:00 02/03/2014
Vivian Fittal and Jack Waller
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ

WHIRLWIND WEDDING: Vivian Fittal and Jack Waller tie the knot.

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A short break from doctors, cancer treatment and a grim diagnosis was all newlyweds Jack and Vivian Waller wanted after their whirlwind wedding last week.

The couple managed to spend a few days unwinding at Treetops Lodge and Estate near Rotorua before their honeymoon had to be cut short by an emergency visit to hospital.

But basking in the fact he was now married to the love of his life was all that mattered to Jack. "I'm more than happy. It's just amazing to have a little bit of time together before we are back to the big real world. Every day I look at Vivian and think I'm so happy to have this wonderful woman as my wife."

The couple, who have been together two years and have a baby girl, were hastily married after doctors discovered a terminal cancer had taken over Vivian's lung, bowel and liver.

Fundraising from around the country meant they were able to pull together a wedding and honeymoon in just 10 days.

It had been important to choose a honeymoon destination that was close to a hospital or hospice in case his wife was in too much pain.

The 20-year-old's condition was discovered in early January and though doctors believe it to be terminal, they hope to extend her life with chemotherapy.

Jack said he was hopeful treatment would begin next week but it had been important to take some time away from the hospital so they could relax after the wedding.

The high point of the wedding for her had been the first dance which had begun with a short joke version of the chicken dance, Vivian said. "Jack likes to point out that I'm married to him and that he's proud. It was definitely all more than I expected."

Vivian said she hoped the donations received, now around $50,000 could go towards her daughter's university or house fund. "I still want to be able to support her."

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- Sunday Star Times

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