Young cancer sufferer Jack Tate turned the ‘perfect’ getaway into a romantic wedding proposal last weekend.
The 23-year-old, from Weeting, has experienced a lot of lows since being diagnosed with lung cancer in August last year – failed chemotherapy drugs, illness, even a collapsed lung.
But Sunday was a definite high – and he topped it off by ‘popping the question’ to his partner-of-three-years, Keyleigh Jonas, 19, who accepted and is now busy planning their August 2018 wedding.
The couple, who live in Eriswell, were being treated to an all-expenses-paid ‘mini break’ in London by Steph’s Wishes, a charity which creates ‘memory days’ for young people with recurring or terminal cancer.
When Jack found out what the charity had planned, he rushed out to buy an engagement ring fit for the occasion.
He and his unsuspecting girlfriend were then chauffeur-driven to the UK’s tallest building, the Shard, where they spent the night, and were wined and dined, at the Shangri-La Hotel.
Jack came up with an elaborate way to hide the ring, but it backfired forcing him to propose in the hotel room.
He said: “I planned it to look like a package had been delivered from Steph’s Wishes to us and asked my fiancée to carry the box, but then she opened it in the room.
“There was a balloon inside and a note saying ‘pop the balloon’, then inside that was a bit of paper saying ‘will you marry me?’”
Jack, who then got down on one knee to present the ring, said he was not nervous because having cancer had given him a new outlook on life, but Keyleigh was shocked.
He said: “As far as she was aware I couldn’t get a ring because I didn’t have the money so I think, at first, she didn’t understand where it had come from.
“A year ago I never would have thought it would happen this quickly but with the circumstances – I don’t know how long I’ve got – I wanted to do it now rather than wait.”
Cindy Knight, a trustee of Steph’s Wishes, said: “Jack’s probably sent me a dozen text messages saying ‘thank you’. He said he had the best day of his life and for us that’s all we want.”
Jack said: “They couldn’t have made it more perfect – I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Find out more about the charity at www.stephswishes.org.uk.