After her dad was successfully treated for prostate cancer, Zoe Hegarty and her husband decided to use their nuptials to raise money and awareness of the disease. She tells us how the wedding guests reacted and why she'd encourage others to donate your day for Prostate Cancer UK.

25 Aug 2017

When dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014, it was a difficult time for both him and the family.

The Prostate Cancer UK website gave us great advice and information on different types of treatment and dealing with cancer in general, and eventually dad opted to have brachytherapy – a state-of-the-art treatment that would not be available without the clinical research and funding provided by cancer charities.

Thankfully, dad was diagnosed early and his treatment was a success. And luckily for me and my husband-to-be, Ciaran, it also meant he would be there to give me away on our special day.

Ciaran is very close to my dad and was there for him throughout his illness and treatment. It was he that initially looked at the Prostate Cancer UK pin-badges and contacted the charity about using them as wedding favours to raise money and awareness. That's how we came to donate our wedding day to the charity on 2 September last year.

All our guests thought it was a great idea for the money spent on wedding favours to go to such a worthwhile cause

We were married at a church local to where I grew up and somewhere that my dad has always been a part of, making it a special place for us all to begin the day. The wedding reception afterwards was at Hilltop Country House, in Prestbury – a gorgeous venue with beautiful grounds and a marquee for the wedding breakfast and evening reception.

All our guests thought it was a great idea for the money spent on the wedding favours to go towards such a worthwhile cause. The majority of them had been affected by cancer, whether themselves or a close family member.

It was a touching moment for everybody when both my dad and new husband referred to the pin-badges in their speeches and the reason behind choosing them. It’s lovely to see people still wearing the badges 12 months later.

Donating your day is such a great opportunity to give to a special cause that – unfortunately – will affect most people. I hope the money will go towards continuing to develop new and improved treatments for prostate cancer, so that nobody has to have a wedding day where special people are missing.

Zoe and Ciaran together on their wedding day
(Photograph by Dan Vernon)

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