Monday 22 April 2019

'It's not our last chance because we're not giving up hope' - Irish mum with stage four cancer vows to marry partner next week

Louise Swift (40) from Co Mayo.
Louise Swift (40) from Co Mayo.
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

BUSINESS owners in Co Mayo have rallied together to help a woman with stage four cancer marry her long-term partner next week.

Louise Swift (40), from Co Mayo, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and had a radical hysterectomy. One year later, she says she had a recurrence which led to 28 sessions of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and brachytherapy.

"I lost most of my thirties to cancer and had a list of things I was going to do this decade and now everything has come to a halt again," Ms Swift told Independent.ie.

Shortly after Christmas, Ms Swift received news that the cancer was back and it had spread to her lymph nodes.

After getting the diagnosis, Ms Swift and her partner Mick decided to get married in the first week of April, with just their two children and their mothers present.

However, she has been finding the hunt for her dream dress difficult, and her friend Emily shared her plight on RTÉ's 2fm.

Ms Swift explained that she had reconstructive surgery and said she hasn't been feeling great after the chemotherapy.

"Now that I’ve got this diagnosis, it’s not so much our last chance to do it because we’re not giving up any hope, it’s just we want to do it," she told presenter Eoghan McDermott.

"I’m not built like every other woman out there, I’m plus sized and big chested, it’s hard to get something that fits nice and flattering as well.

"At the same time I’m not feeling too well after having the chemo, and going dress shopping has been quite stressful for me."

After hearing her story, the radio show became inundated with texts, calls and emails from local businesses in Castlebar, near where Ms Swift lives, wanting to help the bride to be for her special day.

Caroline, the manager of fashion retailer Carraig Donn in Westport, told Ms Swift to come in store to "kit her out" for her big day, and offered to help her find the perfect dress.

Caroline spoke to their neighbours at Petals, a beauty salon in Castlebar, who offered to do her makeup on the big day.

Carraig Flowers also called the show to say they would provide Ms Swift with flowers and said they would call into her to discuss.

"We'd be delighted to help," florist Shane said.

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