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Wedding bells ring for a brave bride

SHE may be fighting a life-threatening disease, but nothing was going to stop Tracy Gunn from enjoying the happiest day of her life.

This Is Lancashire: Breast cancer sufferer Tracy Gunn and Ben Cosgrove Breast cancer sufferer Tracy Gunn and Ben Cosgrove

The 28-year-old organised her wedding in just seven weeks, after discovering that the cancer she has been battling has spread.

On Friday, her family and friends gathered to see her marry her fiance, 20-year-old Ben Cosgrove.

The couple, who have been together for three years, got engaged in July and their marriage is be a testament of the love and support they have for each other.

Speaking before the wedding, Miss Gunn, a former Harriet Costello school pupil, vowed: "Our wedding will be a very special day.

"I couldn't go through what I'm going through without Ben. If I was on my own it would be so much worse. When I'm feeling bad, he's there for me."

She also said the couple have a lot of support from Mr Cosgrove's parents, Bob and Eve, who they currently live with in Burgess Road, Basingstoke.

The wedding comes two years after Miss Gunn discovered she had breast cancer.

After receiving the devastating news about the cancer spreading, the couple decided to move forward the date of their big day.

Miss Gunn said: "We'd planned to get married in a couple of years, when we hoped I'd be better. But we decided that we didn't want to wait.

"The organisation has been quite stressful but I'm really looking forward to our day now.

"I have a gorgeous dress and my sisters Karen, Julie and Kim are going to be my bridesmaids. Ben's two-year-old niece Lauren is going to be my flower girl."

It is clear that Miss Gunn was determined to enjoy her wedding, and her courage is inspirational.

She said: "I do not blame anyone for my illness, and the medical treatment and support I have received has been amazing."

Talking about how her diagnosis has changed her life, Miss Gunn said: "I now say what I think more, which sometimes gets me in trouble, and I just appreciate the little things in life that we take for granted so much more.

"I've got my head around it now but it's very frustrating as I can't live the life I wanted to. If I hadn't got ill, I'd be saving for the wedding now and my own house and I'd be able to grow old gracefully.

"I'm just starting out in life, but now I probably won't end up having children and my married life could be a short one."

Speaking about her diagnosis, she said: "I found a lump in my left breast and went to a female GP to get it checked out. I was told it was probably just a cyst.

"It continued to bother me, so I saw another doctor who, again, told me it should be okay but referred me to the hospital, just in case. At the hospital I had a biopsy which came back clear, so we assumed everything was okay."

Miss Gunn continued to work at Debenhams Restaurant, where she was training to become a supervisor, and life seemed to be returning to normal.

However, when the lump continued to hurt, she went back to the hospital and asked for it to be removed.

She said: "A few days later I got a phone call at work and they asked me to come in straight away. That's when I started to worry.

"At the hospital they told me that I had the most aggressive form of cancer and needed to start treatment straight away."

Miss Gunn underwent four different types of chemotherapy, although none were effective, and the cancer spread to her lungs.

She said: "About a month ago, I started to get pain down my side and a stiff neck.

"I went back to the hospital for an MRI scan and was told I had a tumour on my spine and some little ones in my head. I started a course of radiotherapy straight away to try to reduce the size of the tumours."

Miss Gunn added: "All I would say to people is if you find a lump anywhere, push for a referral."

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