A NEWTOWN ST BOSWELLS nurse who got married while suffering from ovarian cancer is inviting women to dust down their wedding dresses for a charity ball.
Lorna Skelly feared she would never have children after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of just 24.
But four years on, the 28-year-old is healthy, has a two-year-son Ryan and is hoping to raise plenty cash for ovarian cancer charity The Eve Appeal thanks to the event in Galashiels’ Volunteer Hall on Friday, March 25.
It was December 2006 when Mrs Skelly’s terrifying battle with cancer began.
She had been rushed to hospital with abdominal pains and it was discovered a cyst on of one her ovaries had ruptured.
Mrs Skelly said: “It was very emotional.
“The doctor did not know what was damaged.
“I thought I would never have a family and was asking ‘What have I done to deserve this?’
“I said to my partner Iain, who later became my husband, ‘If you don’t want to stay with me you don’t have to’, but he said he would definitely be here for me.
“The cyst was so big – the size of a tennis ball – and had grown a blood supply and my right ovary had to be removed.”
The nurse, who works in the emergency care service department at Borders General Hospital, said she was not diagnosed with cancer at this point, but when she was called to a meeting with her doctor in 2007, she admitted that alarm bells started to ring.
“I was convinced I had cancer and broke down,” said Mrs Skelly. “I remember the doctor and nurse asking me if I wanted a cup of tea at the meeting and just thinking ‘Get on with it’.
“I had a biopsy on my ovary and my appendix was removed. I then had six months of chemotherapy during which time I was getting married.”
She added: “The wedding took my mind off the illness. A week before the big day I even had a blood transfusion.”
As she recovered, Mrs Skelly was told she would not be able to try for children for six months after the end of her chemotherapy.
“But in March 2008 I fell pregnant and had a boy named Ryan in December of that year,” said the mother.
“I was told that if the cyst had not ruptured, being unaware of the symptoms, the cancer would have grown to stage three and I would not of lived to see my 30th birthday.
“I am extremely lucky and very grateful to be here today.”
Entertainment for the Volunteer Hall ball includes comedy vocalist Brenda Collins, Ewan Galloway Ceilidh band, pipers and a disco, while there will also be a free glass of champagne for each guest, plus a buffet and a licensed bar.
While women are asked to wear their wedding dresses, men attending should wear a kilt or suit.
Mrs Skelly told us: “It is every girl’s dream to wear their wedding dress again as most only get to wear it once. Some who have never been married are wearing a bridesmaid’s dress and others who have been wedded but can’t find theirs, so are wearing a ball gown, which is fine.
“It is amazing how few people know about The Eve Appeal and I get quite angry about that.
“I just want to raise awareness and money for the charity.”
The ball starts at 7pm and tickets are priced at £20 and are available from Niki’s Bar in Galashiels or www.borderevents.com