Dean Whelan and fiancee planning to marry after doctors say his bowel cancer is incurable
A father was told on his daughter’s first birthday that he had terminal cancer and just weeks to live.
Now Dean Whelan, 35, and his fiancée, Emily, are planning to marry and hoping to visit Disney World in Florida in the time he has left.
Mr Whelan was diagnosed with metastatic bowel cancer – meaning the disease had spread to other parts of the body – after doctors found a blood clot on his lung during a CT scan.
The couple, from Golcar in Yorkshire, were told on their daughter Lorelai’s first birthday that the cancer was incurable, and Mr Whelan instantly proposed.
Now family and friends are fundraising to support the family while he has chemotherapy to manage the cancer and for their children’s future.
Mr Whelan, who is also stepfather to 15-year-old Jayden and Neve, 11, is known to friends as “Disney Dean” because he loves the films so much.
His 34-year-old fiancee says they are “battling head-on” to make memories together.
“We want to go to Disney World in Florida. If we can’t, we’d like to go to Disneyland Paris,” she told the Manchester Evening News.
“Dean wants to watch as many Disney films with the kids as possible and he wants to take the kids to see Blackpool illuminations as that is a tradition for us.”
Recalling his falling ill, she said: “The pain got worse and they eventually found a mass on his bowel. They did more tests and it came back that it had spread and that they could not do anything.
“We shut that down,” she added. “We want to have months and we are battling it head-on.”
Speaking to Yorkshire Live, she described her fiancé as a “gentle giant” who is friends with everyone.
“We should have been going to Cornwall and he was going to propose to me there, so he already had a ring.
“He said he wanted the day to be remembered as our daughter’s first birthday and the day he asked me to marry him. It was special.”
She said they could not put into words how grateful they were for contributions to a Go Fund Me page, which has so far raised more than £3,200.