At least he could fulfill one of his final wishes by marrying the woman of his dreams, Nina van Rooyen, before he died - even if it was in hospital.
Jason Sanders died yesterday.
His plan, before falling ill with brain and spinal cancer, was to marry Nina today on her 27th birthday.
“All I want for my birthday tomorrow is to lay on your chest and listen to your heartbeat,” an emotional Nina told YOU.
Read more: Cape Town couple weds at severely ill groom’s hospital bedside because ‘life is too short’
Her voice is fragile and full of heartache and it’s difficult to hear her over the phone. Yesterday morning there was still hope. Mere hours later he’s dead and Nina is a young widow. They married on 27 October.
“We’re getting married in hospital because he will beat cancer,” she said earlier. They were going to marry properly in a church as soon as he was able to.
But yesterday, at the age of 32, Jason lost his fight against cancer in a clinic in Durbanville, close to Cape Town.
“My beloved husband, a brother, son, best friend to many passed away peacefully today 7 November at 16:25,” she announced yesterday on Facebook.
“Family and friends came from near and far to support Jason in his fight against this heart wrenching illness. It is evident how many lives he touched with his vibrant personality and caring nature."
Read more: Couple cancel wedding to marry in hospital so their cancer-stricken daughter can be the flower girl
The couple had been together for three years and bought a house together in October last year.
“We were so looking forward to a life together,” says Nina of Table View. She and Jason had met when they worked for the same telecommunications company. She eventually stopped working to take care of him.
PHOTO: Suppliedn holida
In March this year he was diagnosed with an aggressive and terminal form of brain cancer. He had an emergency operation to remove the tumour and had to undergo radiation and chemotherapy.
“The doctors gave him a few months to live back then,” recalls Nina. “They said it was the most aggressive and fastest growing tumour they’d ever discovered."
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But a MRI scan in July showed that the tumour had shrunk and they told him he’d only have to be back in October.
“Things had started looking more positive and on 1 August we got engaged.”
They were to marry in a church in Bloubergstrand. Everything was booked.
Then Jason started complaining about unbearable back pain, neck spasms and vomiting. Another scan last month showed the cancer had spread to his spine and another round of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery lay ahead.
But he passed away before he had they chance.
“Jason taught me to be positive," Nina says. "People’s prayers have carried us. We’re grateful for that.”
His medical aid was exhausted. “I am still waiting for the account to arrive to see how much we owe,” she says. “We were married in community of property. I don’t know what’s going to happen and how it’s going to work. Everything is so raw and chaotic at the moment, I haven’t even been able to think it through.”
By today benefactors had already donated $ 5756 (roughly R77 119) into a trust fund.
"We are so grateful that people are thinking of us in this time. Messages of sympathy and condolences are still flooding in."