First Dates viewers in tears over brave cancer survivor’s “perfect ending”

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Kayleigh Dray
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First Dates, as we all know, makes for incredibly easy viewing on a weekday evening: after all, who doesn’t love to watch people find love? Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.

Failing that, we also very much enjoy seeing how an unrequited romance will play out. Or, y’know, a massive dating faux pas. Or a heated debate about outdated dating rules. Or a love-rat get served their just desserts alongside the bill.

Most of all, we enjoy sitting back and listening to the true stories of the people baring their hearts and souls on the show. And, while these can often be touching, viewers found themselves in floods of tears over the most recent episode (25 April), which saw one brave cancer survivor take the plunge back into the world of dating.

Sarah was just 16 when she was diagnosed with bone cancer – and doctors were forced to amputate one of her legs.

“I went down to the theatre kicking and screaming,” she said. “My dad said it was horrendous. I was trying to stay awake. I didn’t want to go to sleep, knowing I’d wake up without my leg.”

Sarah lost her hair immediately after starting cancer treatment, and her weight dropped to just above six stone. Since then, her confidence has grown, but she has remained self-conscious about her prosthetic limb.

“When I first went dating, I had my leg covered up so that the guys I went on dates with couldn’t see that I had my leg amputated," Sarah said.

“Now, I've decided to get my leg out and uncover it, so they can see and it's there and it's out in the open.”

The 21-year-old was paired up with rugby player Phil, who was completely unfazed by Sarah’s revelation. In fact, he went on to reveal that he had lost his beloved mum to cancer when he was 17.

“You’re a beautiful girl,” he told Sarah. “And I’ve got total admiration for you.”

Phil went on to ask Sarah if there was anything she missed doing – and she told him, emotionally, that she wished she could still walk into the sea. Cue the rugby player shyly telling her that she just needed to find somebody who would carry her.

At the end of the date, Sarah and Phil agreed that they would love to see one another again – with Sarah revealing that the experience had made her realise that there are “different guys out there” who have been through different experiences and have a lot to offer.

Which would have been a beautiful enough ending, to be honest. But then this happened:

Yes, Phil and Sarah are “officially an item”. Yes, he carried her into the sea, just like she’d always dreamed. And, yes, everyone watching the show took to Twitter to air their feelings about the particularly emotional episode.

“Perfect ending to First Dates tonight,” wrote one.

Another added: “I’m off to bed with a big smile on my face. So glad they found each other.”

“This was perfect,” said another.

And one added: “He saw how beautiful she was and nothing else. That’s how it should be.”

We’re not crying, you’re crying.

Images: First Dates


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.