DJ and Steph
When you’ve been diagnosed with terminal leukemia and your parents have sold the family home to fund your medical treatment, affording a wedding is the furthest thing from your mind.
But thanks to the Sunshine Coast initiative My Wedding Wish and the generosity of Sunshine Coast and Brisbane wedding suppliers, leukemia patient DJ Hall and partner Stephanie Lloyd had the opportunity to create treasured memories in what has been an incredibly tough year.
My Wedding Wish proprietor Lynette Maguire said the deserving couple’s $25,000 wedding package included a venue, catering, flowers, accommodation, rings, hair and make-up, photography, pampering sessions, a photo booth, and transport.
“DJ and Stephanie are going through such a hard time, so it means a lot to be able to reduce their emotional and financial burden, even if just for a day, and let them step back from the stress and worry they’re facing and enjoy their time together,” Ms Maguire said.
“DJ is currently undergoing bone marrow aspirations, injections, antibiotics and daily chemotherapy, and is set to commence treatment in the US next month so the wedding will also serve as somewhat of a farewell as he heads off for treatment.”
“They’ll get to tie the knot in Ilkley and then share their special day with 60 of their close friends and family at the reception at Sunshine Castle in Bli Bli.”
Mr Hall said he was delighted to receive the very generous gift and couldn’t have imagined being able to tie the knot with his fiancée at this time.
“We can’t believe we’ll get to share this very special day with friends and family and we are very grateful for the generous donations from the various businesses involved with My Wedding Wish,” Mr Hall said.
“Apart from the cost associated with planning a wedding, we have very little time in the day, or the energy to be able to plan a wedding, so this is really an incredible gesture.”
Mr Hall was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at just 22 years old and after months of chemotherapy and a number of transplants, was informed in late 2013 that treatment had failed and the illness was considered terminal.
Recent developments have seen the couple being given a glimmer of hope with Mr Hall being accepted into a new medical trial in Philadelphia.
“DJ’s parents have sold the family home to fund the medical costs associated with his treatment; however, more funds are needed to cover the upfront payment required for the trial so they’ve established the ‘Get DJ to Philly’ fund to assist DJ and Stephanie in their fundraising efforts,” Ms Maguire said.
Ms Maguire said DJ and Stephanie were not the only couple to benefit from the My Wedding Wish gift pool, with Mooloolah Valley couple John and Allison who have been married for 18 years being offered a renewal of vows, and a Warner couple Naomi and Emily bestowed with an all-expenses-paid same-sex commitment ceremony.
“Both of these couples are facing some serious health issues and we feel incredibly privileged to be able to give something back and put a much-needed smile on their faces,” Ms Maguire said.
This is the second year the wedding grants have been up for grabs and Ms Maguire hopes to take My Wedding Wish Australia-wide on a full-time basis.
Update: Sadly DJ passed on the 8 August 2015
The Wedding Wish Suppliers – who generously donated their services to support this amazing couple’s wedding:
Exquisite Gowns by Yvonne
Wendy Britton Ceramics
Deluxe Kombi Service
Music and Sound:
Elite Sound Entertainment
Annabella - The Wedding Chapel
All Perfectly Planned
Invitation Designs by Eliza
North Shore Reality