Simmon and Mark’s ‘battle of love’
Mark was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in May, after six months of being unwell and searching for answers. Mark being Mark, is special and also had complications with his liver and his heart. In turn this created some humour in our comparing him to a Minion, which created some belly laughs amongst the extremely trying times. Mark handled this like a champion and we fought with everything we had to get Mark back on track, so he could start his cancer treatment. Mark has had his ups and downs, both emotionally and physically. As have I...but I tell ya...that man is a machine! He gets knocked down and he gets straight back up again. Something I am proud to see and be privy to, something I am pleased that both my children and Paddy get to learn strength and courage from, watching Mark.
Mark has undergone hundreds of tests, biopsies, lung tests, blood tests, heart tests, PET scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, fitness tests, chemo...you name a test and Mark has probably had it. All at the same time accepting me persuading him to try new things. From reiki and healing hands to massages, anything for his health that could help - even the lovely juices I forced upon him. Lol. Once again there were not many complaints from Mark. Mark stayed open minded and tried whatever he could to fight the fight. Even when he didn’t have the energy to get off the bed. To this date, someone wasn’t ready for this man to give up, so we fought this with everything we had.
Due to the positivity of never giving up, Mark’s last scan gave us the best news ever! THOSE LITTLE SUCKERS HAVE DIED. And the fight was working. I tell ya many tears were had by me this day. As I sit and reflect on the past year and know there are no chemo sessions left to go, that we only have appointments and rebuilding Mark’s health to focus on, I realise something quite spectacular. That the many hours I sat on the shower floor hiding from the world, hiding my struggles, dealing with my moods, the hours of paperwork I have filled out, the hours of waiting around for answers, had all been worth it.
The frustration would get to both of us sometimes and the sadness of the friends and family we had left behind whilst having to relocate to Perth, was all becoming nothing but a distant memory of our journey. Our family is stronger than ever and we now have an amazing future to plan!
We will be forever thankful for the love and support we received from everyone. This is something that both Mark and I will never ever forget. And even still, until this day, the support continues from everyone. We as a family would love to thank you all and the Geraldton community. We are so blessed to have you all and be part of this community. A very special thanks to Katrina Farr for starting the ball rolling. Tracy from Swan Ceremonies WA also thanks to Today Tonight and Wedding and Bride magazine for getting on board.
Suppliers and amazing people helping make this dream come true
Tracy was one of the first suppliers to join the iDoWeddings Dream Team for Mark and Simmon and has been instrumental with support and working behind the scenes. Tracy loves everything about her career as a Marriage Celebrant. Tracy values family and friendship, trust and loyalty, commitment and integrity, communication and sincerity and believes you should always follow your heart, as this will truly lead you to where you should be. Tracy chose to offer her services because she wanted to give something that will change a couple’s future. “It's humbling to be part of the iDoWeddings Dream Team.”
Lindsey of Mon Belle Bridal was taught the art of sewing and hand embroidery at a very tender age by her grandmother, and has been involved in the bridal industry since 1993. Mon Belle was established in Perth in 2008, selling custom designed bridal gowns. She also stocks designer labels from Europe and as a designer and seamstress, Lindsey is now focusing on what she loves best at her home studio in Treeby. She provides an alteration service for bridal, bridesmaid, ball and gala event gowns, ensuring your dress is made of the finest quality materials, high quality embellishments and properly lined with the appropriate undergarments where needed. She is delighted to have been asked to support Simmon’s wedding!
Little Jar of Awesome wants you to have a little luxury for every day. Our products are all hand made. We are currently working with Swan Ceremonies WA and making personalised candles for all of the couples who have their wedding or any other ceremony with Tracy as their Celebrant. These candles can be made for any event or as a single gift. Tracy chose to offer her services to Simmon because she wanted to give something that will change a couple’s future. “It's humbling to be part of the iDoWeddings Dream Team.”
Loretta works with artificial flowers and provides bouquets, accessories and custom decorations. Her work started many years ago, in order to help a friend, when she came to the realisation that there was a market in the area of customisation for brides, especially on a budget. Loretta uses this work as therapy to help with her fibromyalgia; doing the wiring and taping helps work muscles that often do not get used. “When it came to helping Simmon for her special day, there was never a second thought that crossed my mind!”
Random acts of kindness
This is what makes it so amazing to have beautiful people doing the most amazing things! We are proud to have you with us on the day Craig, Maria thank you for giving your man the push in the right direction! Lots of love from the iDoWeddings team.“My husband Craig has a classic car that he often disappears in and when I saw this amazing story that our friend Tracy Screaigh was involved in, I asked Craig if he would offer his time and car to help with such a great cause. He was only too happy to jump on board and offer to chauffeur Simmon and Mark on their special day.”
We Like To Party are a Western Australian family owned business and have helped thousands of customers plan their parties, special occasions, weddings and corporate events. Specialising in premium quality balloons and balloon decorating, they have WA’s first Certified Balloon Artist on staff, providing excellence in creative balloon design, whilst being dedicated to protecting and preserving the environment.“We are passionate about our business and love what we do. After surviving the “C” word myself and the struggles my husband and I faced with the treatment and our finances, we wanted to give hope to someone else. My husband and I saw the ‘Battle of Love’ story on Today Tonight and were impressed with Katrina’s generosity, prompting us to choose to donate our balloon decor to Simmon and Mark, who are a very gracious couple. We can’t wait to see how the community bond creates their special day, it will be magical.”
Perth Wedding Decór and Event Styling is a family owned business and a dream brought to reality for owner Dale, with the loving support of her family. “I love people, weddings, parties and creating memories, so this is when I decided to look into a business that could include all of that! How truly lucky I am to be able to work and love what I do with, and for, the people I love. To donate and volunteer my services to Mark and Simmon’s special day has been an absolute pleasure. To be part of their wedding and to meet so many other special people willing to offer their services makes the whole day so magical.”
“When we saw the story on Today Tonight we were really moved by the idea about turning one person’s heartache into another person’s joy. As the Venue Managers of Mulberry Estate, we wanted to help out anyway we could. But more than that, we are a married couple, so we get it! Weddings are lovely and romantic, but they can also be hard and stressful and we want to help take some of that stress away too. In this industry, love really brings us together. We are surrounded by love of the families who are watching the couples take the big leap, surrounded by the love of friends seeing their mates follow their heart, but most of all, the couple, who are filled with deep, burning, all consuming love for each other. It is an honour to share in all of that love, and it is even a bigger joy to help Simmon and Mark make this happen. It’s not about the struggle they have been through, but the chance to celebrate the start of their incredible future together.”
Heidi runs Stylish Strands Hair Studio and has always been passionate about working with people; making them feel confident and proud to stand tall! “Wedding hair is even more fun because you share a special day with people that are excited and happy - being in a position where I can pay it forward makes it extra special! I can't wait for Simmon and Mark’s big day!”
We are delighted to be on board and to be a part of this wonderful team helping to make Simmon and Mark’s wedding dream come true. We look forward to meeting them both, to treat them and to share our passion and the gift of beautiful glowing skin for their special day.
Coming from a family of musicians, my appreciation for different types of music started from an early age. This interest in music, coupled with my passion for entertaining people, enabled me to embark on a career as a DJ since 1985. My enthusiasm for making sure everyone has a good time is as strong as ever, even after all these years. Claire & Cori from Mulberry Estate reached out to me to be involved with Simmon & Mark’s wedding. After hearing about their story I immediately wanted to be a part of it. Their story resonated with me on a personal level from my experience and sharing the love for two deservedly beautiful people brings me joy.
Liz is a multi-award wining cake designer in Perth, specialising in custom designed cakes for your special occasion. She often provides her services to couples renewing their vows and holding commitment ceremonies, those facing a terminal illness or a serious life changing event, regardless of sexual orientation. She also supports other organisations such as Ronald McDonald House, Heartkids and the general public. “A child may miss their birthday because of treatment or a adult may just need a pick-me-up, I supply a cake of their design - just seeing the smiles on their face after an exhausting time is magic. There have been quite a few tears, but so many good memories. I offered my service to Mark and Simmon because I believe no matter what life throws at you, love is what holds us together. This love that Mark and Simmon have should be celebrated, not just in front of family and friends, but the whole world.”
Allure Limousines are based in Kardinya and have some stunning limos available for hire for your next Swan Valley wine tour, wedding, school ball, birthday celebration, anniversary or just for a night out with friends. Their passion for excellent service ensures you have the very best experience, from rolling out the red carpet, to pouring your champagne, their professional chauffeurs will be on hand to provide you with the high level of service that you would expect.
Allure’s Jeep Grand Cherokee 12 seat limousine is state of the art and features disco floors and ceiling and a bluetooth stereo system. Their Chrysler 300C stretch 10 seat limousine features a kicking sound system and champagne bar to keep your drinks cold. Each limo comes fully stocked with bottled water, mints, ice and glassware. Every Allure Limousines driver is screened to ensure that our clients only receive the best possible drivers with the same attitude to service. “Our goal is to pre-empt your needs and wants before you do - that's what a limo hire should be after all.”
Gemma runs a professional and comfortable beauty salon from her home. She has over 13 years in the industry and has been providing a beautiful salon experience of her own for the last 6 years.
Specialising in waxing, lash tinting and spray tanning, she is able to cater for brides on a budget without sacrificing a professional service.
“I love helping Perth brides prepare for their big day!”