Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Window Cleaner With Brain Cancer Ties The Knot

Happy day: Andre Timberlake-Evans, 39, and his wife Maria, 31, pictured on their wedding day at the Hadley Park Hotel in Telford, Shropshire.
A devastated couple were forced to bring their wedding day forward after being told the groom has just a few months left to live. Window cleaner, Andre Timberlake-Evans, 39, was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer this summer and has been told by doctors that he may be dead within the year. The groom, who will start chemotherapy in the next few days, was determined to walk down the aisle with his partner of 12 years - so he and his partner Maria, 31, organised their wedding in just two weeks.

The couple tied the knot on Friday in a moving ceremony at Hadley Park Hotel, in Telford, Shropshire and their son Max, 12, was their ring bearer. Today Mr Timberlake-Evans spoke of his pride at marrying his bride and said he hoped to at least make it to see his first wedding anniversary. He said: 'I am going to treasure every moment with my new wife. 'This situation puts things into perspective.

Entertainment: Mrs Timberlake-Evans, who sings in a choir, performed at the reception in her ivory dress that she borrowed from a friend.
'It was kind of weird because you're having your happiest day of your life at the back of the mind there's the tick-tock of your body clock. 'It's like the Titanic, while you're all having a party and the boat is sinking. 'Everybody is saying be positive but its like having a guillotine over your head and not knowing when its going to fall. 'But I did forget about that all for just one day. 'I can honestly say I have always stopped and appreciated life.

Sing-a-long: Mr Timberlake-Evans plays the piano while his wife and bridesmaids crowd around.
'My life was always absolutely perfect, I love my family, my job and my hobbies. 'The time we have now is something to be grateful for rather than bemoaning what we don't have.' Mr Timberlake-Evans, a physically fit karate black belt, first began to notice something was wrong in June. He began to struggle to understand what people were saying, muddled up his own words and was constantly lethargic.
The groom - who was forced to sell his window cleaning business following his diagnosis - said: 'One day I just went to thank a customer and couldn't speak. 'I thought the words but I just couldn't say them. I jumped back in the van and came home and just cried.' His wife, show works in a supermarket, rushed him to the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford where doctors found a mass on the brain straight away.

Family affair: The couple's son Max, 12, pictured here on a family holiday at Lake Vyrnwy in June 2008 when he was 8, was the ring bearer at the ceremony.
In August the couple were told the tumour was benign after Mr Timberlake-Evans underwent an operation to remove the mass. The groom said: 'We believed everything was fine, I thought then - I want to marry you because life is too short. 'So I proposed, she said yes, and planned to get married in Sicily next year.' But at a follow up appointment the couple, from Oakengates, near Telford, received the news that Mr Timberlake-Evans had Grade four glioblastoma - the most aggressive type of malignant brain tumour.

The groom said: 'The consultant asked if we were planning to get married? 'And I said "yes, next year" and she said "no, do it now." 'I was quite bewildered and Maria just burst into tears. 'She said I had 14 to 18 months to live or three months without treatment. 'We basically had two and a half weeks to arrange the wedding of a lifetime and it turned out to be amazing.' The ceremony was held in front of 70 close friends and family and the couple's son Max proudly took on the role of usher and ring bearer. The bride's ivory dress was something borrowed from close friend Emma Bouyac, 31.

Operation: Mr Timberlake-Evans shows the scars on his head that remain after he underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor, which he was initially told was benign.
Music was provided by a friend's band, while another DJ'd for the evening celebrations. The couple - who are members of a choral society - also sang and played the piano. Mrs Timberlake-Evans said: 'We were totally overwhelmed by how family, friends, customers and even complete strangers rallied around us to help. 'It's overwhelming to see people's humanity - it really touched us.

Good memories: The couple, pictured here at V festival in 2009, have been together for 12 years and got engaged in Sicily soon after the mass was found on the groom's brain in June.
'You have these plans but one is going to be left behind and it breaks your heart. 'But if you think like that it spoils the time you do have.' We are just trying to do normal things together.' The couple, who are surviving on Mrs Timberlake-Evan's sick pay and tax credits, now hope to raise enough money to go away on a honeymoon. The new wife added: 'I'm not thinking that he's not going to be here. 'I'm thinking we are going to have a bit more time together - and we are just going to enjoy each day of our marriage as it comes.'

Strong: The couple, pictured at home in Telford, Shropshire, vow to enjoy the time they have together.

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