Regan Schoultz is an NZME news service reporter based in Auckland.

Terminally ill Kiwi ticking off bucket list

Andy Rahman with fiancee Emma Taplin. Photo / Fiona Goodall
Andy Rahman with fiancee Emma Taplin. Photo / Fiona Goodall

Terminally ill New Zealander Andy Rahman is set to tick the biggest item off his bucket list - getting married to the love of his life.

The 43-year-old, who was diagnosed with stage four lymphatic cancer in October last year and given between six months and two years to live, created a Facebook "bucket-list" in October last year to help him live life to the fullest.

At the top of that list, after proposing to partner Emma Taplin, was marrying her.

Last Friday, Australian-based Rahman received a phone call from My Wedding Wish - an Australian group of wedding suppliers who grant dream white weddings to couples in hardship or where one person or both are terminally ill - that would make that dream a reality.

"We were over the moon. We had a bottle of bubbly sitting in the fridge waiting for a special occasion so we opened that up and had a few drinks to celebrate," Rahman said.

The grant, worth $15,000, will pay for a celebrant, a wedding dress, suit hire, the venue, catering and vehicle hire for the couple's big day.

They will however have to pay for a reception themselves and for friends and family to fly from New Zealand to be with them.

Rahman and Taplin will tie the knot on April 21 at an undecided location on the Sunshine Coast.

Andy Rahman with fiancee Emma Taplin. Photo / Fiona Goodall
Andy Rahman with fiancee Emma Taplin. Photo / Fiona Goodall

Rahman is confident the wedding will be everything they have dreamed of.

"We are only doing this once so we are going to do it right," he said.

The business consultant, who has been living in Australia for the past five years, was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2014 and underwent a series of operations and chemotherapy.

The treatment efforts were successful but only for a short time.

"After my big operation, they monitored me every three months," he said. "Then we got the news that it had spread into his lymphatic system and there are now three tumours in his back lymph nodes and the thing with being in your lymphatic system, is that you can't operate on that," said Taplin.

That sad news prompted Rahman to create the Facebook page Andy's Bucket List. The page has garnered hundreds of likes from supporters and drawn in offers of help.

As well as the wedding Rahman will also be able to tick off a helicopter ride from his bucket list.

"A person on my Facebook page emailed Red Balloon (an online experience gift retailer based in Australia) who have generously donated helicopter rides over Brisbane," he said.
The couple have not decided when they will be taking up the offer.

Still to achieve on his list is a V8 experience, going to the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar race, going to Canada for a holiday and now a honeymoon which they hope will be on "a tropical island somewhere".

"At the end of the day, when my time comes, I don't want to look back and think, 'Oh I didn't do this and I didn't do that," he said.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 05 Dec 2016 18:12:49 Processing Time: 635ms