Mum of eight-year-old Stotfold boy with terminal cancer brings wedding forward so he can be part of special day

PUBLISHED: 15:40 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:24 26 November 2019

Stotfold's Ethan Martin, pictured at Keech Hospice Care, has been told he has less than a month left to live, having been battling cancer since 2016. Picture: Hannah Cowlishaw

Stotfold's Ethan Martin, pictured at Keech Hospice Care, has been told he has less than a month left to live, having been battling cancer since 2016. Picture: Hannah Cowlishaw

Hannah Cowlishaw

The mum of an eight-year-old boy who has terminal cancer and been given four weeks to live has brought her wedding forward to tomorrow so he can be there.

Stotfold's Ethan Martin, who has been given a terminal cancer diagnosis, at Keech Hospice Care. Picture: Hannah CowlishawStotfold's Ethan Martin, who has been given a terminal cancer diagnosis, at Keech Hospice Care. Picture: Hannah Cowlishaw

Ethan Martin, who lives in Stotfold, has spent half his life battling cancer and now there is nothing more the doctors can do.

He was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 and - following an operation and chemotherapy - was given the all clear in January 2017.

But in January last year Ethan's family were given the devastating blow that the cancer had returned and was in his head and spine. He had radiotherapy and an operation to remove 96 per cent of the cancer from his spine.

Last week Ethan's family were told the cancer is terminal and he has four weeks left to live.

Hannah Cowlishaw and Henry Matthews, pictured in December 2014 after getting engaged, have brought their wedding forward so eight-year-old Ethan Martin can be there. Picture: Courtesy of Hannah CowlishawHannah Cowlishaw and Henry Matthews, pictured in December 2014 after getting engaged, have brought their wedding forward so eight-year-old Ethan Martin can be there. Picture: Courtesy of Hannah Cowlishaw

Ethan's mum, Hannah Cowlishaw, said: "It first started in 2016 when Ethan had headaches and sickness for eight weeks and we were told it was a virus. Eventually Ethan had a scan and the doctors found a 2cm mass at the back of his head."
Ethan is now near the end of his journey and has moved into Keech Hospice Care, with his mum staying with him.

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"I think he knows," said Hannah. "He said he's done fighting and has had enough. He said his brain is dying."

Hannah and her partner Henry Matthews were planning to get married next year, but are determined to tie the knot while Ethan can still attend, so he can be in the family wedding photographs.

Ethan Martin at Keech Hospice Care's Christmas party. Picture: Hannah CowlishawEthan Martin at Keech Hospice Care's Christmas party. Picture: Hannah Cowlishaw

The ceremony will take place at St Mary's Church in Stotfold tomorrow, with Keech staff in attendance to care for Ethan.

The community has rallied round, organising everything from the wedding to the reception at the Fox and Duck on the outskirts of Stotfold.

Hannah, who is a dinner lady at Ethan's school St Mary's C of E Academy, said: "People have been amazing - thank you to everyone for coming together."

Hannah's friends would like to organise one last surprise - a hotel room to spend their wedding night. Friend Tracy Gilmore said: "We would like them to have somewhere nice to spend their wedding night. They'll be going back to Keech the next day, so it needs to be somewhere local."

If you can help, please call Tracy on 07565 306484.

The family are also bringing forward Christmas so Ethan can celebrate it with his brothers Jack, four, and Brandon, 12, and friends are appealing for donations of toys the boys can open on that very special day.

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