Wedding dream a reality thanks to kindness of Plymouth's people
A DYING man whose biggest wish was to get married to the mother of his two daughters has said he can't thank the people of Plymouth enough for "making his dream become a reality".
Father-of-two Stephen May, 27, was given just two years to live after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in October.
Despite the devastation, Stephen and his fiancée Rachel Joce, who got engaged in 2006, said one of their first priorities was to get married – but that they didn't have much money to pay for a wedding.
The couple, from Keyham, will now get married in less than seven weeks thanks to the people of Plymouth.
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Stephen and Rachel, who have two daughters, five-year-old Ella and eight-week-old Evie, have been inundated with generous offers from city people and businesses and are now counting down the weeks to their wedding on Saturday March 2.
After reading Stephen's story in the Herald a mysterious benefactor took it upon herself to inspire a number of local businesses to donate their services free of charge to give the couple a day they will never forget – and even more people have now come forward.
Stephen said: "I am overwhelmed by everyone's generosity and can't thank them enough.
"I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make our dream become a reality. I am looking forward to being able to call Rachel my wife; it's been a long time coming. It's about time she made an honest man of me!"
Rachel recently went to The Wedding Company, in Plympton, to try on wedding dresses. The company has kindly offered to give Rachel her dream dress free of charge.
Rachel said: "It was really emotional trying on dresses. Kelly, the owner, was so lovely and really friendly. I chose the third dress I tried on. I instantly knew it was the one and didn't want to take it off.
"I am really looking forward to the wedding but very nervous too. Stephen and I haven't had to pay for a thing. We can't believe how kind and generous people have been, even people that don't know us.
"It doesn't seem real. I feel like I'm going to wake up and it will all have been a dream. I can't wait to be Stephen's wife – I just want to be Mrs May."
Stephen, who is being given free rental of suits for him and his groomsmen from Perfection, on Exeter Street, said being able to get married to Rachel meant everything to him.
The kind-hearted city businesses that have helped to give Rachel and Stephen a day to remember include:
Boringdon Park Golf Club, in Plympton, who have offered the venue for free
The Wedding Company, in Plympton, who have given Rachel a wedding dress
The Flower Cafe, on the Barbican, who will provide the flowers
Gemma Ayres and Tracey Stokes, who have offered hair and make-up services
Andrew Younger, of Younger Photography, in Hartley, who has offered his services to document the magical day
Michael Spiers, in the city centre, who have provided the couple's wedding rings
Perfection, on Exeter Street, who have offered free suit rental for Stephen and his groomsmen
Castle Cars, who will provide a car for the couple
Dizzy's Celebration Cakes, in Oreston, who will provide a wedding cake
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