Community organises wedding to grant Ollie's final wishBy Claire Saul
April 25, 2012
A couple grieving the loss of their five-year-old son say the people of Wokingham have been “amazing” for organising their wedding in just six days to fulfil his last wish.
Since Ollie Young was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, his parents Sarah and Simon say they have been “overwhelmed by love and support”.
Supporters are now helping to raise thousands of pounds for two charities, CLIC Sargent and Helen and Douglas House Hospice in Oxford, that cared for the Hawthorns Primary School pupil.
Mr Young, 38, said: “We’d planned to marry in 2014. It was something Ollie wished for and we desperately wanted him to be part of that.
“When we asked, ‘how would you like it if Mummy and Daddy got married?’ He was amazed and in the following days he really perked up.
“The smile on his face didn’t disappear for the entire week.”
The Woosehill couple, who also have a son called Alfie, age eight, tied the knot in Oxford on December 17, just days after Ollie’s tumour was diagnosed.
The hasty planning was made easier by members of Facebook group Wokingham Gossip Girls, who joined family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and local companies in assisting the team of close family friends who co-ordinated everything required for the day.
Mrs Young, 34, said: “We’d been warned he might only have one more week to live.
“It was incredibly hard, but we had hundreds of people willing us through each day. And thanks to the amazing help which flooded in, not only was the whole wedding organised in six days, we hardly had to do a thing, allowing Simon, Alfie and I to concentrate on those precious moments with Ollie.”
Mrs Young’s wedding dress and accessories, food and cutlery for the reception, table decorations, gift bags for young guests and much more were all ticked off the to do list as people rallied to help.
Mr Young said: “Thanks to our photographer friend Shaun Edwards we have some beautiful wedding photos.
“So many people helped, including one neighbour who made a very early delivery from Wokingham that morning then stopped to help prepare our reception venue before heading back home.
“We don’t even know everyone involved. People were asked to write labels to attach to the many Champagne bottles that were donated and some say things like ‘from a friend of a friend’. Just fantastic.”
Mrs Young added: “We have been truly overwhelmed by the level of love and support since Ollie’s diagnosis.
“You don’t actually realise how nice and caring people are or how a community can really pull together until something like this happens.
“We just can’t thank everyone enough for what they did and especially for bringing the wedding together because it was such a big thing for Ollie.
“He was so happy and proud that day.
“The people of Wokingham have just been amazing. ‘Thank you’ just doesn’t cover our sincere gratitude for everyone who has helped us over the past few months. You have been truly wonderful and it really means everything to us.”
In his final weeks Ollie was also paid a visit by chart-topping boy band One Direction.
Ollie died on February 26, the day before his sixth birthday, at Helen and Douglas House.