Tears welled in groom Idrees Mohammad’s eyes as he watched his three-year-old son slowly walk his beautiful bride down the aisle.
Stunning in an ivory fishtail dress and crystal encrusted cathedral train, brave Natalie Sanders lit the room with her smile, her eyes fixed lovingly on the man she was about to marry.
Nothing was going to stop her from saying “I do” to the man of her dreams yesterday – not even terminal cancer.
In the living room of the Crossbasket fairy tale castle in Blantyre, the couple held hands and exchanged vows with their precious baby boy Zeke by their side – making Natalie’s last wish come true.
It was a magical day the 30-year-old thought she would never see after being diagnosed with grade 4 metastatic breast cancer in September last year and learning that she only had 12 months to live.
But thanks to the Wedding Wish Makers charity, which appealed for help from kind-hearted vendors, and donations from friends and family, the couple had the wedding of their dreams.
Natalie, from Coatbridge, said: âIt really was the best day of my life, right after the day our baby was born. Zeke is our whole world and one of the reasons we were so desperate to get married was that he will always have fond memories of our special day.
âI was struck by so many emotions as he put his little hand in mine and led me down the aisle to the sound of the bagpipes. I couldn’t really believe this was finally happening.
âI didn’t think I would live to see this day, especially after doctors told me to move it forward and then it kept being postponed due to Covid restrictions or because I was really sick.
âIn the end, everything worked out perfectly because we were able to accommodate 50 guests instead of the original five. Being able to share the day with friends and family made it even more special. “
The couple and their guests enjoyed a fabulous sit-down meal with cupcakes and a wedding cake provided by one of Natalie’s co-workers.
And there was not a dry eye in the castle when the bride and groom descended to the floor for their first dance to Edwina Hayes’ moving track, “Feels like Home”.
The inspiring mom-of-one, whose uncle Kevin Mcinally also walked her down the aisle, said: âThe whole day was perfect from start to finish. We couldn’t have done it without our Guardian Angel Suzanne Stevenson of the Wedding Wishmakers and all the vendors who have offered their services – from the celebrant and the car company to the bagpiper, photographer and videographer.
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âMy beautiful cousin Charlene bought me my beautiful dress and the hairdresser worked her magic on my wig and managed to get it into a wedding.
âI wouldn’t have had the strength or the energy to have planned a small wedding without talking about the wedding of my dreams. It was magical and I can’t thank everyone enough.
Natalie, who has the defective BRCA gene, was initially diagnosed with grade 3 triple negative breast cancer in October 2019. She underwent intensive treatment before being told she was cancer free in May of the year. last.
But just a month later, a painful buildup of fluid in her right breast caused concern and doctors found the cancer had actually spread and told her she was between six and 12 months old.
She started another course of radiation therapy before learning that her medical team had managed to obtain a wonder drug called Talazoparib, which is currently not available on the NHS.
Natalie, who planned her own funeral, said: âI was told not only that my cancer was back after I cleared it all up, but that it was terminal was devastating. How could I have gone from all clear with large margins to step four?
âAnother little piece of good news that I was able to share is that I appear to have a positive response to the trial drug. My exam earlier this month showed that the cancer was stable and that there was a slight reduction in the mass in my breast.
âIn addition to drugs, I also try alternative medicines, including cannabis oil, a low-sugar plant-based diet, and ionized water. I know nothing can cure what I have, but doctors hope it will delay the inevitable. I will try anything to be there for my son, even one more day.
She added: âZeke allows me to continue. I wouldn’t be here without him. I can guarantee I would have given up on the fight a long time ago if he wasn’t here. He’s such a sweet little boy and his jokes are amazing.
âIdrees has also been my cornerstone throughout my battle with cancer. We had only been going out for 18 months when I received my first diagnosis. I don’t know how he coped. He is so kind and generous and nothing is too much trouble. The idea of ââleaving them behind breaks my heart and I continue to fight for them.
“I wrote whatever I want at my funeral, including the music, because God save me when the day comes, I don’t think he will handle it very well and I don’t want him to have it. additional stress.
“Writing Zeke’s birthday cards when I’m not here has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life because it makes her so real.”
Idrees proposed to Natalie in January 2020 and they had planned to wait a few years and save. She said, âI was lying in my bed feeling exhausted after a chemo session, Idrees called me downstairs.
âHe and Zeke were both standing there, dressed in fancy suits. In front of them was a puzzle with a picture of us on it and the words “Will you marry me?” There were rose petals all over the floor.
“I hurried up the stairs to retrieve my wig, thinking, ‘I’m not going to be bald for my romantic proposition. It was so special. Because the prognosis looked promising, we decided to save some money and wait a few years to get married. I imagined a snowy wedding in Switzerland.
Natalie, whose bridesmaids Charlene and Debbie Mcinally hosted a bachelorette party last month, added, âI wasn’t, but I wouldn’t change a thing yesterday. We have a family / honeymoon vacation planned for August but we’ll have to see how things go.
âI think I’ll take longer than what the doctors said. They gave me in late August early September but I feel great and my results are the same if not better than they were at this time of last year so there is definitely hope. It is hope and my two beautiful boys that keep me going.
âIdrees said,â I really can’t believe it. All I ever wanted was to be married to Natalie and complete our little family. It was a fairytale day. Thanks to the charity and kindness of strangers, our dreams have come true and I will be forever grateful to you.
– for more information or to offer your services to the association, go to https://www.facebook.com/weddingwishmakers/