Family of terminally-ill former Culford School teacher Lis Webster, of Ingham, are asking for donations and help for special party
The family of a terminally ill former teacher from Ingham, near Bury St Edmunds, are appealing for donations to help her make precious memories.
Lis Webster, 56, fears she will never see her children Sam, 27, and Hannah, 20, get married following a diagnosis of end-stage cirrhosis of the liver, caused by autoimmune conditions.
Hannah, who helps to care for Lis in between studying at the University of East Anglia, said: “Mum is trying her best to keep going as long as she can and we are desperate to make good family memories together.”
Lis and her husband David, 58, met by a tree outside the Cadogan pub in Ingham 30 years ago.
They had hoped to renew their vows for their 25th wedding anniversary, but the pandemic put their plans on hold.
Then in November 2021, Lis, who used to teach at Culford School, was diagnosed with stage three endometrial cancer after being misdiagnosed for six years.
After surgery at West Suffolk hospital, Lis was meant to start chemotherapy treatment.
This is when scans revealed she had an enlarged spleen – which led to a terminal diagnosis of cirrhosis of the liver.
Lis, who has an average of four medical appointments each week, struggles to walk, has minimal use of her hands and lives in constant pain, but her liver cannot handle painkillers or other medication.
At the moment she does not have active cancer, however she was unable to have chemotherapy for her initial diagnosis meaning she is constantly worried it might return.
Because she has had cancer in the last five years Lis is not able to have a liver transplant.
Now, with the help of family friend Suzannah Barber, Hannah hopes to organise a party to celebrate her mum’s life and give her parents the opportunity to renew their vows.
They are appealing for donations of items or services to make the party extra special, as Lis is too unwell to work and David has had to reduce to part-time hours.
Initially the party was going to be a surprise but Hannah said it was proving difficult to keep their plan secret.
The 20-year-old, who her her own health difficulties as a child which saw her skull rebuilt, said: “Mum loves parties and trying to celebrate good things when there aren’t that many to celebrate.
“She missed her party for her 55th, she’s never really had a party in her life for herself. She’s hosted them for other people but she’s not really had one of her own and she would really love one.
“We thought grouping it together with the renewal of vows would be really special as they always meant to do that anyway. It will be a really nice celebration.”
Appealing for anyone who is able to donate a service or gift for the celebration to get in touch, Hannah said: “We would love any support people are happy to provide as we want to make a really special day for Mum and Dad and make memories.
“It has been a really rubbish three years. We would really love to give mum something to look forward to as well as enjoy making special memories.”
If you could help make the party extra special, contact the family via SuffolkNews by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org