World Europe 23 May 2017 Terminally ill man w ...

Terminally ill man weds in hospice

AGENCIES
Published May 23, 2017, 1:34 am IST
Updated May 23, 2017, 1:34 am IST
Strangers pitch in to help, ceremony organised within 24 hours.
The couple hold hands during the wedding ceremony. (Photo: via web)
 The couple hold hands during the wedding ceremony. (Photo: via web)

In an age when divorces are common citing partners hiding previous ailments, a couple got married in a hurry in a hospice in the last minute after the groom was told that he had just a few days to live.

Strangers donated generously for the event. Tracy Brooks and Ray Kershaw had planned to marry in Tenerife but changed their plans when Mr Kershaw was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in March.

 

Mr Kershaw, 63, wed his wife at Springhill Hospice in Rochdale, Lancashire, where he is being cared for and has days left to live. The ceremony was funded thanks to strangers’ donations via charity Gift of a Wedding, which allowed the couple to buy a wedding car, flowers, a cake, dressing for the venue and other necessities. It was planned for 2 June, but as Mr Kershaw’s condition deteriorated they decided to bring it forward, leaving them just 24 hours to organise the ceremony.

Gift of a Wedding made an emergency appeal on social media for people to help out with services such as providing flowers, doing hair and make-up and baking cupcakes.

 

Close friends and relatives, as well as a photographer, minister and hospice staff, gathered on Saturday to see the couple say their vows. They exchanged rings as Mr Kershaw lay in bed, holding his wife’s hand. Gift of a Wedding thanked everyone on Facebook for their contribution.

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