A widow is walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in memory of her husband, to mark their first wedding anniversary and to raise money for research into sarcoma.
Edward and Cassie Watson (pictured) first met in June 2012 and instantly fell for each other.
“Ed was everything I had ever wanted. He was the kindest, funniest, handsomest and most unique person I had ever known. Almost overnight I knew what real, magical, forever love was meant to feel like,” says Cassie, from Great Milton, Oxfordshire.
In June 2014, the same week the couple moved in together, Ed was diagnosed with sarcoma – a very rare type of cancer that accounts for just 1% of adult diagnoses in the UK.
“Of course, with his typical humour, he joked about how he was only ever going to get something incredibly unusual, but behind the smile was a will of pure iron and an absolute determination to deal with, and beat, anything that was thrown his way,” says 35-year-old Cassie.
After an operation and chemotherapy at The Churchill in Oxford and nine months of chemotherapy at The Royal Marsden, Ed went into remission so the couple began planning their wedding and organising their lives together. Sadly, seven months later in February 2016, Ed found out the cancer had returned.
The couple married on 19 February 2016, just two days before Ed went back into hospital for more surgery and chemotherapy. The 49-year-old died peacefully at home with Cassie on 21 August 2016.
“He knew how loved and cherished he was by me, his children, his father and sister and by his many friends,” says Cassie. “I knew I wanted to do something to honour his memory, to make him proud and to raise some much-needed funds to fight this devastating disease.”
Cassie took on the challenge of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path – walking 186 miles over 14 days with ascents said to be the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. Money raised from the sponsored walk is being donated to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity for the hospital’s Sarcoma Research Fund.
“The care Ed received from The Royal Marsden was second-to-none, but sarcomas are very rare, survival rates are not good and much more research is needed,” says Cassie. “I want to help spare someone else from losing their husband, father, son, brother or friend the way we have had to.”
Cassie was joined by different companions along the route, and arrived in St Justinian's on what would have been the couple’s first wedding anniversary. She finished the walk on Friday 24 February.
To help support Cassie’s fundraising, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/walk-for-ed.