Heartbreak as terminally ill bride-to-be dies two weeks before fairytale wedding

A terminally ill bride-to-be has tragically died from cancer a fortnight before her fairytale wedding.

Mum-of-one Gemma McGowan, 29, from Paisley, was due to tie the knot with sweetheart Steven Murie on June 11 after a fundraising campaign drummed up thousands.

But she sadly passed away on Wednesday.

Gemma had a very rare cancer of the nasal cavity and was given just months to live after being diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma in May last year.

Despite months of treatments, including radiotherapy, immunotherapy and life-changing surgery in which surgeons had to remove her eye – she and her heartbroken partner were told nothing more could be done.

Due to Gemma’s condition, the wedding was brought forward from next year, with Wedding Wish Makers calling on the trade to provide the full range of services, from wedding cars to outfits for the bridesmaids.

They managed to secure a three tier cake, piper and humanist celebrant, and a total of nearly £3,800 had been made in donations to pay for the ceremony at Dalmeny Park Hotel in Barrhead, and other fees.

Wedding Wish Makers announced Gemma’s death on Facebook, saying: “It’s with a heavy heart we are writing these words but sadly Gemma passed away yesterday.

“Our thoughts are with Steven, Arran and to all of their friends and family at this hard time.

Gemma’s mum Lorraine McGowan previously told how her daughter was fighting with “unbelievable strength and bravery”.

She said: “It has been so hard to watch her go through what she has.

“I don’t know how she has coped, but she has been so strong through it all.”

It was just one month after telling her family she was pregnant that Gemma began experiencing issues with her eye watering.

After visiting the optician, Gemma was told it was likely a blocked tear duct, and was referred to the ophthalmologist.

After her first appointment was cancelled at the start of the pandemic in March, she was eventually seen and was diagnosed her with a blocked tear duct.

However, Gemma’s condition continued to get worse in the following weeks, with the swelling getting so bad her eye had moved completely to one side.

It was then that doctors ordered scans of her eye and discovered the tumour.

Money from the fundraiser will now go to Steven and the couple’s baby Arran.