Sunderland couple who both beat cancer are a pair of diamonds

SPECIAL TIMES: Jack and Lil Watson are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.
SPECIAL TIMES: Jack and Lil Watson are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.
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A SELFLESS couple have handed the organisation which helped them both beat cancer a cash boost as part of their milestone wedding anniversary celebrations.

Retired Jack and Lil Watson, of South Hylton, have both suffered from different forms of the illness in recent years.

I told all of the guests that instead of giving presents, we would like to donate money to Macmillan because they have been so good to us during the course of our problems.

Jack Watson

But they’ve bravely faced it head-on and are now enjoying reaching 60 years of wedded bliss.

Former sewing factory worker Mrs Watson, 81, has just beaten breast cancer for the second time, while her husband has suffered from lung cancer.

Ahead of their celebratory party at the Comrades Club in South Hylton, the couple told guests that they would be raising cash for Macmillan Cancer Support, after nurses helped both of them through their treatment.

“I told all of the guests that instead of giving presents, we would like to donate money to Macmillan because they have been so good to us during the course of our problems,” said Mr Watson, 82.

“We managed get well over £400 in, so we’ve rounded it up to £500 and will be passing it on.”

Mrs Watson, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer 29 years ago, said: “I had a mastectomy last month, but I’m feeling OK now. We are getting there.

“We’re glad everybody who turned up to our party had a good time.”

The couple met in the 1950s and were married at St Mary’s Church, Springwell Road, on April 30, 1955.

They went on to have two daughters, Jacqueline and Brenda, and now have four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. The Watsons were also given a card from the Queen, which was organised by the couple’s daughters.

Looking back on their recent health worries, Mr Watson, a former tanker driver, added: “It hasn’t been enjoyable, but we are getting there. We have to stay positive.

“We still go to hospital for check-ups regularly but hopefully we’ll stay healthy.”