A woman with stage four cancer is hoping to fulfil her bucket list wish to marry her partner.

Nessa Smith, who has lived in Brighton for much of her life, went for tests early last year because she had styes on her eyes and was feeling unwell.

The 52-year-old was told she had ocular melanoma.

She had a radiation plaque put in her eye to help fight the illness but she had a bad reaction to it and the cancer spread.

Since then, the former prison officer has been having immunotherapy every six weeks, but recently she and her family were told that it would only be palliative.

Nessa started writing a bucket list and told how she wanted to marry her partner Matt Symes, who she met while working as a prison officer at HMP Downview in Sutton.

Her niece Katy Child, who lives in Worthing, is hoping to make this dream come true.

Katy told The Argus: “Nessa has always helped people throughout her life, when she worked at St Dunstan’s home for blind veterans, the maternity ward of the Royal Sussex [County Hospital] and latterly as a prison officer.

“She has always done the Marsden March to raise money for the Royal Marsden hospital and the Race for Life, so now it’s our turn to help her.

“She is always there for everyone, if anyone needed any help they would always call on her.

“Nessa is always positive and says there is a silver lining in everything.

“She has maintained her dignity and puts up a fight and still now worries about everyone else and how losing her will affect us.”

The Argus: Nessa and Matt are hoping to get married this yearNessa and Matt are hoping to get married this year (Image: Katy Child)

  • For those interested, you can donate to the fundraiser here

She and Matt, 61, who now live in Crawley, have booked a wedding in March this year.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity,” Katy said.

Highley Manor in Haywards Heath gave Nessa and Matt two-thirds off the price for the venue, and Lush Curve Bridal in Dorking has offered her a free dress.

Katy is now raising money to cover the cost of the wedding and is also asking if people can offer their help with venue decorating, filming the event and providing flowers.

The fundraiser can be accessed online here: https://gofund.me/0e1e167a