Terminally ill mother marries partner after mystery donor known as 'Mary Poppins' funds lavish ceremony
'Being Graham’s wife means the world to me, however long we may have together'Treatment costs meant the couple cancelled their first wedding planned for last August. Local businesses in Sidmouth then helped to organise their big day this June
16:18 GMT, 11 July 2012
Dream day: Naomi and Graham were married at St Audries Park in Somerset
A terminally ill woman who cancelled her first wedding day after she was diagnosed with breast cancer finally got a dream ceremony worth thousands – after it was paid for by complete strangers.
Naomi and Graham Thomas became engaged a month before she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.
The couple, who have a 22-month-old son called Devon, had hoped to tie the knot last year – but weren’t able to afford it after learning the disease had returned and spread to Naomi’s spine.
Naomi said: 'We’d provisionally booked a beautiful hotel for the August bank holiday just gone.
'But, due to treatment and lack of funds it just wasn’t possible so we had to pull out with two months to go. My health and our son had to be our priority so we couldn’t afford the wedding.'
Naomi has also had to come to terms with the heartbreaking fact that she is not expected to live more than another five years.
Her story touched the hearts of locals in their home town Sidmouth in Devon who came forward to help organise and fund their special day.
The generosity of events planner Sam Williams plus a mystery benefactor known only as Mary Poppins and several businesses from Sidmouth all played a crucial part seeing the couple finally become husband and wife.
Naomi, 29, and Graham, 32, tied the knot at St Audries Park in Somerset at the end of June in front of emotional friends and family – including their son Devon.
Newlyweds Naomi and Graham tied the knot at the end of June
'We never in our wildest dreams thought we could ever have such an amazing wedding,' said Naomi.
'There are no words strong
enough in explain how grateful we are to all those involved, but I hope
they know that the day meant so much to us.
'Having these memories will help my family and friends to have some comfort when I am no longer here.
'Being Graham’s wife means the world to me, however long we may or may not get together.'
The couple said their wedding was beyond their wildest dreams
Naomi reserved special praise for events organiser Sam Williams who she had never met before.
'Mary Poppins' who wants to keep her real identity a secret, made a crucial donation which paid the deposit for the wedding venue.
Naomi hopes to meet 'Mary' for the first time in Sidmouth.
She added 'Without Sam and “Mary” there is no way we’d have been able to get married,
'It wasn’t just the financial burden of a wedding but the time and energy it would take to organise it.
'For Graham and I to finally be husband and wife was something we only dared dream about just months ago.
'We owe it all to Sam for taking on this project and to all the people who donated money or their time an talents to make it the perfect day.'
Sidmouth businesses that helped with the wedding included Lydia Baker of Willow Photographic Studio, Sharon Charmers who did calligraphy, Rachel Sherlock of Rachel Sherlock Photography and Retail Therapy.
Charity Dream-A-Way gave the couple a honeymoon in Egypt.
The Karen Trust also made a donation.