Getting married is a milestone that many people look forward to. Wearing a wedding dress and walking down the aisle surrounded by people you love is often a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but sometimes life can be unpredictable.
This Valentine’s Day saw a marriage between a mother and her best friend.
A mom married her platonic best friend so that she could experience a wedding in her final three months.
Kerry Kenworthy, a 34-year-old mother of three children, was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in September 2021 after doctors found abnormal cells in a pap test.
Kerry, a developmental psychologist residing in the U.K., received chemotherapy and radiotherapy for two months until doctors declared she was in remission. And in August 2022, she was given the “all-clear,” according to DailyMail.
Everything was fine until November when she started to experience chest pains. She went to Bedford Hospital, where they took tests that revealed the cancer had spread to her spine. Doctors informed her that they were unable to cure her.
“I was shocked, I thought I had beaten it,” Kerry said. “I still had so much to do, and the doctors said I had just 12-18 months left.”
Kerry’s diagnosis did not stop her from having a wedding.
Days after getting diagnosed, Kerry confided in her best friends, Sian Higgins and Claire Olivia, that she had “deep sadness” over not being able to experience getting married.
“I wouldn’t see my kids get married or even myself. I wanted that special day I had heard so much about, and to wear the dress and be the bride. I wanted a day of fairy tales,” Kerry said.
After a week of Kerry and Sian joking around about marrying each other, Sian popped the question to her in January.
“I didn’t want her to miss out on such a fun part of life,” Sian said. “We had met through mutual friends over three years and hit it off. We both had kids so we went to parks and hung out.”
Along with a group of friends, they began to plan the wedding. Word spread, and local businesses started to chip in for their big day.
Kerry and Sian received a venue, cake, catering and decorations.
Rose’s Bridal Boutique in Bedford gifted the bridesmaid dresses, and Sian and her friends bought Kerry’s wedding gown from the same store with money they raised between each other.
On top of getting ready for her big day, Kerry wanted to help others.
Sian helped shave Kerry’s hair to raise money for Maggie’s Centres, a charity for cancer patients and their families.
On Valentine’s Day, Kerry and Sian held the wedding.
They were married by a family friend in a small ceremony of 70 guests. Sian’s husband stood next to her as her best man.
“My husband was so supportive, and even helped me with my tie for the day,” Sian said.
Following the ceremony and cake-cutting, they had their first dance. Sian surprised her with a performance of “Heroes” by Mariah Carey.
“It was so nerve-wracking, but when we weren’t crying we were laughing,” Kerry said. “I felt so beautiful for the first in a long time.”
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Some family members and close friends gave speeches, then the wedding concluded.
But Sian and Kerry aren’t done as they are trying to plan a honeymoon. Sian and Claire Olivia set up a GoFundMe for Kerry.
“Kerry’s battle is to do as much as possible with her family before she has to go, which is why we have set this up,” the fundraising description reads. “So there is no financial burden holding her back and for the girls future.”
On top of Kerry’s ex-partner planning to raise the children after she’s gone, Sian also promised to help look after them.
Ethan Cotler is a writer living in Boston. He writes on entertainment and news.