A mother lived out her lifelong dream to walk down the aisle with her husband just weeks before her death, thanks to ‘amazing community spirit’.
Diane Warren had dreamt of a blessing at St Nicholas church with her husband Anthony ever since they were married at a register office 32 years ago.
And when the 50-year-old was diagnosed with incurable liver cancer this year, her two daughters, Bonnie and Sherri, made sure her one wish would be granted in her final weeks.
Diane was taken ill in January 2013 when doctors told her she had kidney stones which were easily treatable.
But in months of ill health which followed, she was left unable to keep food down and rapidly lost weight.
Just months later, the grandmother-of-three was diagnosed with cancer of the liver and given just weeks to live - a revelation which left her family distraught and desperate for as much time as possible together.
Her eldest daughter Bonnie, 31, said it was their incredible family and husband that kept her mother going thought the hard times.
The pair were married in their late teens and needed consent to go ahead - meaning a church do was off the cards.
But Bonnie said her mum vowed to one day make the important walk down the aisle together - a wish that her family was determined to grant her in her final weeks.
“Mum and dad remained each other’s rock through sickness and in health, as promised when they married at the age of 17,” Bonnie said.
“Mum lived for her family and adored her grandchildren.
“She had so much left to live for and so many dreams to fulfil and we were determined to make them come true.”
But younger sister, Sherri, 29, said that after visiting bridal shops and costing out the day, they discovered they would need to plough their life savings into the surprise to give their mother everything she has always wanted.
“I went into a bridal shop, then I rang Bonnie and just said I don’t think we can do it,” explained Sherri.
But in an incredible act of kindness, the owner of Lily Rose was so touched by the girls story that she offered to lend Diane a dress, tiara and shoes completely free of charge and even make her a bolero to hide treatment lines.
She then made sure Bonnie and Sherri had dresses for the big day and put them in touch with photographers at Newman Photography who came along on the day free of charge.
Sherri, who now lives in Coventry with her husband and two children, said: “We were just overwhelmed when they offered to lend us the dresses for free.
“Everyone was amazing, and we couldn’t have done it with their incredible help.”
And to celebrate Diane’s family life in Kenilworth and her happy marriage, over 130 people packed out St Nicholas church on October 19 for one final celebration.
“It was just the most amazing day, mum was over the moon, Sherri said.
“Sadly she was not well enough to walk down the aisle, she turned quite bad on the day and was in a wheelchair.
“But Bonnie and I pushed her down and she managed to stand for a few photographs .
“We are so glad we could share in her dream and there was not a dry eye in the church on the day.”
Shortly after the big day - on which Diane also celebrated her 51st birthday with friends and family - Diane was taken into Myton Hospice for care and treatment.
But the family-focused mother had one more task to complete as she ordered her daughters to take her Christmas shopping and ensure she had something special to leave each of her sisters, husband and three grandchildren who all meant so much to her.
Sherri said: “Mum passed away on December 7 and opening the presents on Christmas Day was tough for us all.
“But we are just so grateful that we got to enjoy our last few days with her.
“We are all truly grateful to Lilyrose, Newman Photography and all our family and friends who supported us. We can never repay them.”
As well as spending the day with them for no charge, the photographers also delivered prints from the day to each of the sisters and to Diane which she put on display during a later spell at Myton Hospice.
Nicola Oswin, owner of Lilyrose Bridal Boutique on Priory Road said there was simply no question of not helping the family after hearing their plight to make Diane’s dream come true.
“There is just no way you can make money out of a situation like this and I just wanted to make a dying wish come true,” she said.
“It was an amazing day in the church and so emotional.”
A raffle at the shop is collecting funds for Myton Hospice in Diane’s name.
To make a donation online, visit diane.warren.muchloved.com -all funds will go to the Warwick hospice.