Childhood sweethearts in race to get married after groom is diagnosed with terminal cancer

Lisa Clark and Jason Burton are in a race to make it down the aisle after Jason was diagnosed with terminal cancer

Childhood sweethearts Lisa Clark and Jason Burton are aiming to make it down the aisle after Jason was diagnosed with terminal cancer. (Credit: GoFundMe)

A couple who rekindled their romance more than 30 years after they first met are aiming to make it down the aisle following a devastating diagnosis.

Lisa Clark and Jason Burton, from Beddau in the South Wales Valley, are planning to get married after Jason was with terminal cancer.

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Lisa spoke to WalesOnline about their challenge to get married, describing Jason’s diagnosis as “a huge blow” to their future plans.

Lisa and Jason rekindled their childhood romance

Lisa and Jason both originally met while at school when they were just 16 years old.

Lisa, 48, said: “Jason’s dad and my mum got together and we hit it off while we were both 16 in 1989. We were together around eight or nine months.”

Unfortunately, Jason lost both his mother and brother to cancer, the same diagnosis he has now been given by doctors.

Lisa continued: “Prior to that, Jason lost his mum, Wendy, and his brother, Darren, to cancer. His brother had bone cancer and his mother had breast cancer. He lost his mum just before his 16th birthday and lost his brother just after his birthday.

“When our parents split, at the time, we didn’t have laptops or phones or anything like that so we just lost contact.”

Astonishingly, the couple reconnected 32 years later in May 2021, after Jason reached out to Lisa on Facebook.

She said: “His marriage fell through and he got back in touch with me on Facebook about eight months ago and we hit it off again.

“I have a rule where I think you need to get to know someone for a good two years before you move in together, but he moved in with me after two months. It just felt right.”

Jason and Lisa in their younger years (Credit: GoFundMe)

A devastating diagnosis for the happy couple

Just after the couple had reconnected, Jason, who had been previously diagnosed with cancer twice, shared his diagnosis of terminal cancer with Lisa.

The devoted couple had made huge strides in their rekindled romance but Lisa said that the news had initially stopped them in their tracks, saying: “It impacted us massively because all your dreams came crashing down. We were no longer planning our future, we were just focusing on each day.”

She added: “We have our ups and downs and our grey days. We’ve both gone through the angry days of ‘why us’.

“Because I’ve never been through this before, I don’t know what’s going to be involved or what to expect, but I also don’t want to miss out on any time with him as well as we don’t know how long he’s got left.

Despite Jason’s diagnosis, Lisa took the decision to propose to Jason surrounded by both their families so that they can spend as much time as possible together.

Lisa said: “We always said even before we knew about this that we’d marry each other tomorrow if we could, so marrying each other seemed like the right thing to do. I said to him that he’s not leaving me as just his girlfriend.”

She continued: “We had an ongoing joke about marrying each other with Haribo rings so I gave him one of those and he [casually] said ‘yeah’, I said ‘no really, will you marry me’, and he said yes again. I managed to find the family and get everyone to come over and see us and to tell them he said yes, and he said he thought I had been joking. I asked him again and he said yes for real.”

After a proposal which included Haribo rings, laughter and love, Lisa and Jason knew that they would have to get to work quick to plan their wedding.

Family fundraise to give the happy couple their perfect day

The couple were not alone in their attempts to plan their big day, with friends and family - and even strangers - coming to help.

Lisa’s sister decided to set up a GoFundMe page to help fund their wedding, which has so far generated more than £5,000. You can visit the fundraiser here.

Lisa said: “We’ve been really lucky because my sister has set up the GoFundMe page for the wedding and Jason’s best mate knows the owner of Pencoed House who has offered us that. We’ve had lots of friends who know people who have all come forward and want to help.”

Lisa and Jason won’t be able to make it on honeymoon due to Jason starting new medication, but Lisa says that the couple will be able to make the most of their stag and hen dos.

They will both have the big day to look forward to, with Lisa stating that they will both cherish the time that they have together.

She said: “I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life, but now I'll be with him for the rest of his.”

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