An incredible 'wedding present' from an inspiring couple.
Rather than wedding presents, newly-weds Gill and Rob Warburton asked if their family and friends would make a donation towards the work done by the teams at the Mersey Regional Head and Neck Cancer Centre.
On Friday 13th November Prof Richard Shaw, flanked by senior colleagues from the head and neck teams in Merseyside, was delighted to accept a cheque for £2,483from the happy couple. An incredible amount raised by an amazing and inspiring couple.
As Gill herself explains, the story of their relationship hasn't exactly been uneventful...
"Rob and I met in 2007 while I was living in York and he was here on the Wirral - we met on holiday in North Wales where both sets of parents have a caravan and they had been good friends for 25 years without Rob and I having ever met!
In August 2008 he was diagnosed with mouth cancer & had extensive surgery, operated on by Mr Shaw. He had squamous-cell carcinoma of the tongue which resulted in the removal of a large portion of his tongue and needed reconstruction of the right side of his mouth with tissue from his thigh.
This was followed by a six week course of radiotherapy at Clatterbridge.
Recovery was very difficult for him with a few complications along the way, however Rob & I grew closer and I moved over to the Wirral in July 2009 to be with him.
He was hit with another complication in 2011 when he developed osteoradionecrosis of the mandible and in September of that year the necrotic bone was removed and his jaw reconstructed using bone from his fibular.
However just before he was due to undergo the surgery he proposed to me at the top of Snowdon.
Then on 23 November of this year we got married and it was the happiest day of our lives - I was incredibly proud of him standing up and giving his speech in front of a room full of people."
Rob being able to give a speech at his own wedding, indeed having a wedding at all, has been a long and at times difficult journey for the couple - though you wouldn't guess this from their smiles and laughter today. They specifically asked if they could present their cheque to Professor Shaw as a 'thank you' to Richard and his team for making their wedding possible. Touchingly, signing the 'big' cheque used for the photographs was actually the first time Gill had used her 'new' signature.
We would like to add our own sincere thanks to Gill and Rob for their generosity, and wish them a very happy life together.