Dead bed wedding: Man diagnosed with terminal cancer marries his partner in an emotional last minute ceremony
Ray Kershaw, 63, and his partner, Tracy Brooks, 45, had hoped to wed in Tenerife next year but ended up having a last minute ceremony on Saturday when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in March. Ray, who has cancer of the duodenum, has just days left to live and is currently being cared for at Springhill Hospice in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England.
Wedding organisers put out a call for donations for a ceremony originally scheduled to go ahead on June 2, within hours of publishing the appeal, strangers and businesses had offered to pay for wedding cars, flowers, venue dressing, a cake and everything else required for the event.
But as Ray’s condition started to deteriorate, the wedding was brought forward to Saturday, giving the families and Gift of a Wedding less than 24 hours to organise their big day.
But thanks to the generosity of strangers and the charity Gift of a Wedding, the couple, who both live in Shawclough, Rochdale, were able to get married.
Ray and Tracy tied the knot at a moving ceremony attended by close relatives, friends and nursing staff at the hospice on Saturday afternoon.
Tracy’s niece, Melissa said: “All Ray and Tracy knew was the cancer was terminal so all they wanted was to get married.
“What Gift of a Wedding did was incredible. They were up all hours the night before the wedding to make sure it happened.
“I know Tracy and Ray can’t thank everyone enough for making it happen. We can’t believe how much people donated at such short notice.”
Bridesmaid Karen Haycox added: “I am completely overwhelmed.
“We are all going through such an emotional rollercoaster and this will help so much.”
Gift of a Wedding posted on Facebook: “Rochdale you’re just the best! Thank you so much for pulling together to help us with this urgent wedding today.”