Ash and Renae Hunter on their wedding day with family (from left to right) Trinity, 7, Kaylah, 9, Jai, 1, Tayesah, 12, (holding Jacob, 9 months) and Hannah, 2.
Ash and Renae Hunter on their wedding day with family (from left to right) Trinity, 7, Kaylah, 9, Jai, 1, Tayesah, 12, (holding Jacob, 9 months) and Hannah, 2.

Wedding joy brightens dying man's last days

A DARWIN man has fulfilled his dying wish to marry the mother of three of his children just three days before he died.

Ash and Renae Hunter had been engaged for about three years when he was diagnosed with cancer in his lymph nodes.

"We'd been planning on getting married for three years, but I kept ending up falling pregnant," Mrs Hunter said.

"I decided I wasn't going to get married with a big fat belly so we'd put it off until next year, and then I'd get pregnant again."

It wasn't until the family realised that time was running out for Mr Hunter that the wedding became a priority.

"We put it out in the 'Darwin Brides' Facebook page and suddenly we had so much support from people in the wedding industry," Mrs Hunter said.

"We had everything planned for the wedding for the 27th (of this month) - the flowers, the music, a DJ, all of our friends were going to be there, our family was coming up from interstate. It was going to be a huge wedding."

Ash and Renae Hunter managed to get married just two days before Ash passed away from cancer.
Ash and Renae Hunter managed to get married just two days before Ash passed away from cancer.

At that stage, Mr Hunter was participating in a clinical trial, but a side effect had left his lung filling up with fluid. Within two weeks after stopping the trial drugs, his cancer grew rapidly.

"He just deteriorated," Mrs Hunter said. "That was when we were told Ash wouldn't make it to the 27th."

Instead, the hospice swung into action, helping the couple's church to organise an intimate wedding on Saturday, August 5. Within four hours, the couple was married.

"It ended up being really small, really intimate and really, really beautiful," Mrs Hunter said. "I'm over the moon that we actually did it. And I did end up getting married pregnant with a belly, but the dress still fit me."

The emotional ceremony was small, and held in the gardens of Mr Hunter's hospice. Mr Hunter died three days after the wedding.

A GoFundMe fundraising page remains in place to provide support for the Hunter family in Ash's absence. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/renae-and-ashs-wedding

News Corp Australia


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