Irish News

Saturday 12 July 2014

Terminally-ill mum is walked down the aisle by her son on dream wedding day

Eoghan MacConnell

Published 21/12/2013|02:30

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Roseann Cleary and Justin Kennedy enjoyed a dream wedding in Co Offaly last week, with a special role for three-year-old JJ

A terminally ill mother has been walked down the aisle by her three-year-old son after a community gathered together to give her a dream wedding and honeymoon.

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Roseann Cleary (37) married Justin Kennedy in Co Offaly last week, with her son JJ playing a major part in the wedding.

The young mother revealed she has been overwhelmed by the incredible goodwill she has encountered while facing into her last Christmas.

Since being diagnosed with cancer, the newlywed from Shinrone, Co Offaly, has been getting gifts, kind words, prayers and support from strangers and friends alike.

Last year, a pain in her arm led to a discovery of cancerous tumours on her back and neck. The cancer spread to her bones and, despite chemotherapy, Roseann's condition continued to deteriorate.

"It's palliative care from here on out," she matter-of-factly said, "there's no point getting angry about it because there is nothing you can do."

She described oncology staff at the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore as absolutely amazing. "They're brilliant. Even some of them came to the wedding," she said of her ceremony on December 13.

On learning of her condition, her employers at the County Arms Hotel decided to help Roseann fulfil some of her dreams.

They began by taking her to meet Munster at Thomond Park. Paul O'Connell later sent a message to Roseann and Justin on their wedding.

Staff at the hotel then sent Roseann and Justin on their dream holiday to New York last November.

On her return, arrangements got under way for the wedding. "Everything was in place," Roseann said.

Far from being a solemn occasion, the wedding was a joyous affair, her sister Linda recalled. "It wasn't an unhappy day at all. There were no tears on the wedding day," she said.

Irish Independent

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