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Marie Cahn

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • Marie Cahn

I met Dan in 2010 while we were working together at a pub in Southampton. I moved to Lincolnshire to be close to my family and Dan followed me to live there.

We got married on 21st July 2012 and went on honeymoon to Egypt which was a wonderful holiday with so many happy memories. We then went on to have our little boy, Riley, aged two and our little family was complete. I also had a daughter, Evie from a previous relationship, who Dan brought up as his own.

Dan was always interested in working in the hospitality industry and became a supervisor at The Barge and Bottle, a local restaurant, and was well respected and loved by the staff and the regulars.

In May 2015 he started feeling weak. Just walking for 15 minutes used to leave him out of breath and he just didn't feel his normal self. He went to the doctors for blood tests on the 11th May 2015 and got a call the next day saying he needed to go to Nottingham Hospital. But after I made him go, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and it turned our lives upside down.

Dan started chemotherapy the following week. Throughout his treatment, he always had a smile on his face, still putting everyone before himself. Even when he was feeling awful, he still played with the kids and was the best dad and husband anyone could have wished for.

The first round of chemotherapy didn't go as hoped, so he was given a second round which really hit him hard. Again he fought and never showed he was scared. I was so proud of him and the way he was coping.

The doctors decided he needed to have some more chemotherapy. This was to be followed by a bone marrow transplant after a donor had been found. Whilst on his third round of chemotherapy, and not far from remission, he started to feel really bad. He was in hospital at the time where he was moved to the critical care unit.

He spoke to me that night and said he was okay and not to worry, like he always did; he always wanted to protect me. I went to see him on 2nd September and was informed he had an infection and they needed to treat it with strong antibiotics.

The doctors told me they were going to put him into a coma so his body could rest and antibiotics could take effect. I went and saw him and he just looked at me, asked me to stroke his hair and said, "that's better, how I like it. Sorry, I love you".

The doctor came to see me about 30 minutes later and told me his heart had stopped. They had been giving him CPR and adrenaline to try to bring him back but his body had just had enough. My soul mate and best friend passed away on 2nd September, aged 24, after fighting ALL for 16 weeks.

He was the most amazing husband and dad that anyone could have wished for and there is not a second I don't think about him and wish he was here with me.

I decided I didn't want flowers at his funeral, instead I wanted donations to go to Leukaemia CARE. I wanted to keep Dan’s memory alive, so I spoke to his boss, who was more a friend to Dan than a boss, and he agreed I could organise a charity event at The Barge and Bottle. He was so well-known in the town and all the regulars were so upset by what happened. The support from everyone was overwhelming.

The restaurant arranged two bands to play on the night and I went round the whole of our town asking for raffle and auction prizes for the night.

We managed to get some amazing auction items including a signed Saints FC football, signed drumhead and drum sticks from Bastille and Sheffield United Football tickets, to name a few.

It was such an amazing night and the pub was packed with over 300 people that came to show their support for such a worthy cause that is so close to my heart. We managed to raise an amazing £1,592 on the night.

I also held another charity event which took place at our local India restaurant. We had a set menu for £20 per head and £10 went directly to Leukaemia CARE. We raised a fantastic £900 from the event.

I am also hoping to take part in their the skydive day in June and we are looking to hold an Autumn Ball (details have not been discussed yet).

I decided to get involved with raising money as I want to keep Dan’s memory alive and to help others affected by this awful illness. It also keeps me going as I haven't grieved for Dan yet, as I'm not ready, so doing this and focusing on the kids keeps me going.

I wanted to do something to make Dan proud and I know he would have done the same.

My aim for 2016 is to raise as much money as possible but to have fun doing it and so far I feel I am doing a good job and just want to keep going.