Beauty

"He told me how beautiful I looked": Bride shaves her head at wedding in solidarity with terminally ill husband

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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When Joan Lyons married her terminally ill husband Craig last Friday, she decided to pay him a truly brave and touching tribute by shaving her head during their wedding.

Lyons, 44, surprised guests at the couple's reception by leaving to wash and dry her hair, before returning with a razor and asking her friend to shave off her long brown hair.

Speaking to CBS News about her decision to do something a little "out there" in honour of her new husband, Lyons said, "I was really relaxed during the process, just thinking how thankful and privileged I was to be able to do this."

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"He told me how beautiful I looked and that he was proud of me," she added.

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Tragically, Lyons' husband was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer last August and given just nine to 12 months to live. The Liverpudlian couple, who first met when they were 14 years old, "decided to do all the things we wanted to do but never did". 

This decision was especially poignant since the pair didn't become romantically involved until three years ago, when Craig confessed his true feelings to Joan while they were travelling together on a Mersey ferry.

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Their wedding then came eight months after the diagnosis, when Craig proposed to Joan in McDonalds while midway through a milkshake. 

"That is how we are. That is our little heaven enjoying the simple things, as long as we're together," said Joan.

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The couple received help in funding their wedding through the UK charity Gift of a Wedding which gives free weddings to people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and are keen to get married as quickly as possible.

The charity also provided a wedding photographer for the event and Kimberley Struth, of Struth Photography, told Today, "To be honest, it was one of the happiest weddings I've ever been involved in. 

"The bride actually was the smiliest bride, the happiest bride, I'd ever had."

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Joan donated her hair to The Little Princess Trust, who provide wigs for children suffering from hair loss, and the couple have raised nearly £600 for three other charities on their JustGiving page.

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"After all these years, how blessed I was that it was me he chose to share his life with," Joan said.

"Nothing could ever take that moment away from me; and I will remain by his side and share his fight."

Images: Kim and Ant of Struth photography

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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