Terminally ill Angela Brown was determined to walk down the aisle on her wedding day despite suffering from an aggressive form of motor neurone disease.
And on Saturday, in what was one of the most emotional weddings the city has ever seen, the defiant Leeds mum abandoned her wheelchair and walked towards her proud groom.
Angela, 48, from Rothwell, was diagnosed with the progressive bulbar palsy form of motor neurone disease (MND) in April and, such has been the speed with which the condition has taken hold, she now uses a wheelchair much of the time and cannot speak above a whisper.
But when she tied the knot with partner Tim Gates at Leeds Town Hall, Angela, supported by her dad, David Robinson, managed to make those all-important steps.
She also pre-programmed her wedding vows ahead of the big day so they could be played out through an iPad ,via a similar communication system to the one used by fellow MND sufferer Professor Hawking.
And, in a show of can-do attitude typical of her defiant fight against her illness, she also summoned up the strength to say ‘I do’ herself.
Tim said it was a happy day, but also “very emotional”, particularly for Angela’s daughters, Victoria and Hannah, who made sure the bride arrived in style by hiring a Rolls Royce for their mum.
“It feels really good to be married, but the day was bitter-sweet,” said Tim. The newlyweds enjoyed a reception at The Oulton Institute and the couple received dozens of wedding cards containing messages of love and support.
Angela, who used to work as a learning support assistant at Leeds City College, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND)after developing a slurring in her speech.
People with progressive bulbar palsy have a life expectancy of between six months and three years from the onset of symptoms.
Angela is writing about her experiences coping with MND on her blog, www.angie1926.wordpress.com
Her daughter, Victoria, is also writing a blog to raise awareness of the disease at www.daughterofmnd.wordpress.com