A Belfast couple, whose wedding was postponed due to Covid-19, are fundraising for vital medication to ensure one very special friend can be a part of their special day post-lockdown.
On Saturday, Tim Atkinson completed a marathon in four hours and 25 minutes for his friend and future bridesmaid, Sarah Gardner.
Sarah (34) has had a very long and complicated journey so far, which has seen her diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2018.
She has had conventional surgery to remove an initial tumour, which went badly wrong and has left her with severe mobility issues, four rounds of chemotherapy, a round of a targeted drug and as a last resort, two different trial drugs.
Tim (37) and his fiancee, Becca Harper (30), were originally due to get married on March 28 in a humanist ceremony at Belfast's Titanic Hotel after two years of planning and spending £20,000.
The couple's wedding was booked for 125 guests, with around 50 of these due to travel from England, Scotland and Wales, including Tim's whole family as he is originally from Yorkshire.
Their two-week honeymoon in Canada has also been cancelled and provisionally replaced with a trip to Iceland and the US.
With their big day having to be called off less than two weeks beforehand due to venues closing and travel bans being imposed to deal with the pandemic, they wanted to do something positive to mark the occasion.
The couple turned a nightmare into one of the happiest days of their lives by hosting a "commitment ceremony" online on the day they were due to get married.
With the happy couple having expressed a commitment to each other until they take their wedding vows on November 14, Becca says her main wish now is that her bridesmaid, Sarah, can be by her side on her special day.
"Sarah is an inspiration in resilience and just getting on with it," Becca explained.
"She is currently self-funding various medications that are keeping her alive - medication that the NHS can't offer.
"However, as she cannot work, and with blood tests, private consultation fees and the drugs alone costing hundreds of pounds a month, we want to ensure she can keep going in her fight and in London for her hospital, which is the European Centre of Excellence for cancer treatment.
"In addition, although she is stable at the moment, there may well be need to look for other options abroad in the future," Becca added. Tim is no stranger to marathons, having completed four previously, but Saturday was one of the toughest yet.
His route took him from his home in Dundonald and around east Belfast - on one of the hottest days of the year - supported safely by family, friends and neighbours along the way.
"If anybody spotted a nearly crying English man running around Belfast on Saturday, it was probably Tim," Becca said.
Sarah became a close friend of the couple through their work for the charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Currently self-isolating with her parents in Yorkshire, Tim and Becca hope that by continuing to fundraise for her treatment, she will be well enough to travel to Belfast for their wedding later this year.
"Tim wanted to raise funds to help Sarah access this medication for as long as possible.
"Any money donated will go directly to cover medication, alternative therapies and living expenses to stay near to the hospitals caring for Sarah in her fight," Becca added.
"Any money that isn't needed for her care will be passed on to the charities that have helped her along her journey.
"We want to support Sarah's battle and to try and make a future for our friend. We met her in London through our work and she introduced us to each other.
"I always joke that it's all her fault Tim and I ended up together, so she was an obvious choice for bridesmaid as she means so much to us both."
Sarah's friends and family are hoping to raise £30,000 to fund her future and are nearly at £9,000.
You can donate here https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/amy-gooch-1