Bride Fighting Terminal Cancer Marries Love of Her Life in Fairy Tale Ceremony Before Losing Her Hair to Chemo
A heartbreaking diagnosis of terminal cervical cancer couldn’t stop a determined British couple from enjoying the wedding of their dreams just days before the bride started rigorous treatments to prolong her life. Lauren Barker, 27, of Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, UK, thought she had beaten cervical cancer back in July of 2014, but was shattered when she learned the cancer had reappeared and spread to her lymph nodes. Undeterred by the tragic news, the couple threw together a lavish ceremony in just four weeks so that Lauren could walk down the aisle before losing all of her hair to cancer treatments.
Cervical cancer is one the most common cancers in women worldwide. It is usually caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV virus. It is diagnosed when abnormal cells grow rapidly on the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. An annual Pap smear is an effective tool in catching the disease early. Many women have no symptoms when they receive their diagnosis, although abnormal bleeding and lower back pain are the first signs.
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Lauren, a care worker, and her fiancé, Ben Green, 26, tied the knot in late August at a stunning country manor in Theobald’s Park, Cheshunt . The beautiful ceremony was made possible by Lauren’s sister, Ruby, who set up a GoFundMe site with a goal of £5,000. Friends, family and strangers surpassed that goal and eventually raised £8,500 for the couple to spend on the fairy tale wedding.
Lauren and Ben were overwhelmed by the generosity of well-wishers. “We would have taken a couple of years to save up for on our own, and with my recent diagnosis, we couldn’t wait that long,” Lauren said. Lauren desperately wanted to look her best at the ceremony for Ben before chemotherapy and radiation treatments took a toll on her looks, especially the inevitable loss of her hair, eyelashes and eyebrows. Even with such late notice, the ceremony and reception were filled to capacity. Lauren described the ceremony as a “dream come true” and “the perfect day”.
Lauren and Ben, a bar manager, met two-and-a-half years ago on a dating website. Lauren knew Ben was the man for her after three dates, and they moved in together after six months of dating. Tragedy stuck in July of 2014 when Lauren, who had just gotten her cancer diagnosis, learned she was pregnant. The couple had to make the devastating decision to end the pregnancy to give Lauren a chance to fight the disease. “Saying goodbye to that baby was the most difficult thing Ben and I have ever had to do, and we had a funeral for baby Green. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” Lauren said.
A photo of the stunning couple shows them enjoying a sunset dinner in Crete the night Ben proposed. Wedding photos include: a picture of the gorgeous bride in a full-length lace-trimmed gown holding a cascading bouquet of red roses, signing the wedding register, the happy couple enjoying a toast, and the couple kissing before releasing a pair of white doves.
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Through it all, Lauren credits Ben as her rock and is grateful for the love and compassion he has shown through their ordeal. She is especially grateful for how he cooks her meals, makes sure she takes her medicine and is always there for her. “Even though it has all been overwhelming for us, Ben is just amazing and the best husband I could ask for,” Lauren said.