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Widowed newlywed’s mission in memory of her late husband
A 28-YEAR-OLD widow is throwing her energy into charity fundraising, after her husband died of a rare form of cancer.
Lucy Rattenberry’s husband, Tom, died at the age of 28, just 15 months after he was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). The couple had been married just five months.
Mrs Rattenberry is now organising a family bingo evening in Bicester to raise awareness and money for the NET Patient Foundation, a charity that supports people with the cancer and their families.
The couple got together after a holiday romance in Ibiza in the summer of 2009, striking up a conversation in the airport, before discovering they were on the same flight and staying in the same hotel.
Mrs Rattenberry from Bicester, who works for Thames Valley Police, said. “We both knew from the start there was something very special there.”
The couple bought a house together in Steeple Claydon in 2010, after a year of travelling between Oxfordshire and Mr Rattenberry’s home in Walsall.
Then, Mr Rattenberry, an engineer, proposed on Valentine’s weekend in 2011.
But the couple’s dreams were shattered when they discovered that Mr Rattenberry had a rare form of cancer in November 2011, following around a year of visits to the GP with severe stomach and back pains and fatigue. The cancer started in Mr Rattenberry’s pancreas, but had already spread to his stomach and liver.
Mrs Rattenberry said: “They told us from diagnosis that his cancer was terminal, but they could never really tell us much about it because the cancer’s so rare.
“One of my main aims is to support trials into it, and support everyone who goes through such a terrible scary experience.”
The couple married in August 2012 at Marsh Gibbon Church after bringing the wedding forward a year at the advice of doctors. They then spent a week in Aruba, an island off Venezuela. The newly-weds also fulfilled one of Mr Rattenberry’s dreams by going on a two-week Caribbean cruise after Christmas.
Mr Rattenberry was admitted to the Churchill Hospital on January 12 this year, when they returned, and died on February 2.
Mrs Rattenberry said:“My family have really been my rock.”
Now she will hold a bingo evening at St Edburg's Church Hall in Bicester on January 18 at 6.30pm.
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