ROMANTIC: Maryborough’s Jo McCallum and Chris Bate can’t wait to get married.
ROMANTIC: Maryborough’s Jo McCallum and Chris Bate can’t wait to get married. Alistair Brightman

Bride will be wed, despite brain tumours and lung cancer

JO McCallum doesn't know how much time she has left.

But she knows exactly how she wants to spend it.

The Maryborough mum of five is gravely ill.

She has lung cancer, emphysema and two brain tumours.

But she's not thinking about that, even if her future is unsure.

"I will not roll over and I will not play dead," she said.

Instead she is planning the wedding of her dreams to the love of her life, with her four gorgeous daughters to be her bridesmaids on the day.

Jo met Chris Bate 15 years ago at the caravan park where they were both living.

She says it was his smile that first attracted her attention.

When asked what her wedding day will mean to her, Jo's words are simple.

"I'm marrying the love of my life."

Chris agreed.

"It's something I should have done a long time ago, so this wedding means so much to me," he said.

Jo has been through a lot in the past few months, with intensive treatment aimed at extending the length and quality of her life.

She says her treatment is going well, but it takes it out of her.

For two months she had to travel to Brisbane for two days to undergo chemotherapy.

After that she needed to have radiation treatment.

When she found out she was sick, one of Jo's closest friends, Jo-jo Kroning, wanted to help out in any way she could.

"She is a strong woman that hasn't left my side when I've needed someone so I'm not leaving her side now," she said.

Jo-jo set up a Go Fund Me page to help raise money for her friend's big day.

So far more than $500 has been raised.

And Maryborough businesses have helped out as well, with a Granville bakery making the cake, a florist donating flowers, a decorator helping out on the day and a photographer donating her services.

"I'm overwhelmed," Jo said of the support she has received.

The couple are planning to get married on January 16, but there are still some items they need before it can happen.

 

Wedding checklist

Marquees

Lights

Portaloo

Hairdresser

Make-up artist

Dress alterations

One bridesmaid's dress to match others

Someone who can style a wig

White pearl lung cancer balloons



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