LIFESTYLE
15/09/2015 11:42 BST | Updated 15/09/2015 11:59 BST

Strangers Pay For Couple's Dream Wedding After Groom Diagnosed With Terminal Cancer

Laura and Steven Monks planned to save for three years in order to pay for their dream wedding.

But those plans had to change when Steven, 35, was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer.

The couple were forced to rush their wedding arrangements, but thankfully were able to tie the knot on Friday thanks to the kindness of strangers.

With the help of a charity, the couple found people willing to donate everything they'd need to get married for free, including Laura's wedding dress and all of the flowers.



Laura and Steven had been friends for more than 10 years before they got engaged in 2013 - three months after Laura gave birth to their daughter, Lydia.

The pair had been busy saving to buy a house and planned to save for a further three years after moving in to pay for their wedding.

But in October last year, Steven received the shocking news that he had bowel cancer.

According to the NHS, bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK, with around 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

The three main symptoms of bowel cancer are blood in the stools, changes in bowel habit (such as more frequent, looser stools) and abdominal pain

Almost nine in 10 cases of bowel cancer occur in people aged 60 or over.

At 35 years old, Steven is extremely young to be diagnosed with the disease.

steven monks

Steven (third from left) on his wedding day

Despite having his entire bowel removed and starting chemotherapy straightaway, he was told his cancer was terminal in April.

"As soon as Steven was diagnosed with cancer, we knew we wanted to get married straightaway. We all wanted to have the same name and we wanted to be a proper family," Laura said, according to the MailOnline.

It was a nurse from Macmillan Cancer Support who told the couple about Gift Of A Wedding - a charity dedicated to helping people with terminal illnesses get married.

"We told our friends and family about us finally getting married and no-one could believe it. They couldn't get over a charity like this even existing. We are so grateful to them for making this happen," Laura said.

steven monks wedding

Laura with bridesmaids on her wedding day

The charity put a post about the couple on their Facebook page and within a matter of days, dozens of people came forward offering to make donations towards the ceremony.

A local bridal shop gave Laura a dress to wear on the day and a photographer, magician, DJ, singer and Rolls Royce driver all provided their services to the couple free of charge.

The couple got married in a Manchester City Centre hotel last week.

Laura said: "Steven is currently on palliative care and we don't know what the future holds, but the kindness of strangers made our day completely unforgettable."

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