Yate couple move wedding so cancer-stricken mum can be there... but she dies just days before
A DEVOTED couple who brought their wedding forward so the bride's dying mum could attend were left heartbroken when she passed away just days before the big occasion.
Tiff Lilley and Dave Newport met at Filton College in 2005 and knew they were meant to be together.
Last year Tiff's mum Sally, 43, a fun-loving, healthy eating, energetic woman was diagnosed with cancer. Worse still Sally, a popular supervisor at Bradley Stoke Community School, was given just weeks to live.
It was a hammer blow for the family, which includes husband Mark, 46, and Tiff's sister Annabel, 21.
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When Sally asked Dave to assure her he would make an honest woman of her daughter, and was visibly upset she would not see the big day, the couple from Yate decided to act.
"The moment she said that just stuck with us," Tiff, 24, who works for St Peter's Hospice, said.
"When we were back home we just decided to do it. We knew we would marry sooner or later anyway."
Dave, 23, added: "There wasn't a proposal as such because we just didn't have the time."
From that moment the couple started feverishly preparing for the big day – with a huge amount of help.
Dave said: "We could not have done it without the help from both sides of the family. Everybody around us went out of their way to make sure it happened. We are so grateful."
The date was set for Saturday, January 19 at St John the Baptist Church in Chipping Sodbury with a reception at the Beaufort Hunt pub.
"When we told mum we would be getting married in four weeks her eyes just lit up," Tiff said.
She made sure her mum was involved as mush as possible.
"Mum came and chose my dress with me and met the vicar and saw where we were getting married."
As the wedding day approached Sally, whose cancer had spread from her appendix to her bowel and then her lungs, was still determined to see her little girl walk down the aisle.
"Her wheelchair, had ribbons to decorate it and she knew what she was going to wear," Tiff said.
"I know if she could have been there she would have. She was just so weak, there was no fight left in her."
Tragically Sally died on January 13 – just six days before the big day.
"It was an incredibly happy day but of course there was sadness because mum wasn't there," Tiff said.
"I know she was there watching over us and we lit a candle in the church for her. But the main reason we wanted it so soon was so she could be there so the fact that she wasn't there seemed cruel.
"She was given just weeks to live last year but was still alive six or seven months later and all that extra time with her was precious."
Dave added: "There have been some tough times but has made us stronger. "It has made us more sure we will be together for the rest of our lives."
The next step for the couple will be to consider a honeymoon.
"It wasn't something that was high on our list of priorities but perhaps we can organise one," Tiff said.