Groom with cancer diagnosis weds bride at Sunderland church

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A battling bridegroom walked the love of his life down the aisle as he continues his brave fight against serious illness.

Michael Duggan and Sarah Jane Thurlow’s plan to get hitched hit the headlines last Christmas when it was revealed that Michael had been given just two years to live following his bowel cancer diagnosis.

Sarah Jane Thurlow and Michael Duggan following their wedding at St John's Methodist Church in Ashbrooke, Sunderland.

Sarah Jane Thurlow and Michael Duggan following their wedding at St John's Methodist Church in Ashbrooke, Sunderland.

The 39-year-old was given the news by medics in January 2013 and despite being given the all-clear at a later date, a routine op provided the devastating conclusion that had two years left.

Family and friends have now raised £2,000 to give the couple a chance to create some happy memories with whatever time they have left, although they were hoping to use the cash to get married.

But Wearside radio station Sun FM stepped in to help with the big day as part of its Christmas Wish campaign and the couple, who live in Proctor Square, Plains Farm, got hitched at St John’s Methodist Church, in Ashbrooke, on Saturday.

Michael’s school friend Julie McKitterick nominated the pair for the prize.

Sarah, 40, who admitted to being hugely “nervous” before saying her vows, told the Echo: "What people have done for us is just brilliant.

"Helen Rogers from Sun FM sorted everything I asked for. She's been great."

Michael said: "It's amazing how much we've been helped by so many people.

"The generosity of Sunderland people is unbelievable and we can't thank them enough."

The couple had planned to use the “Happy Memories” fund to go on honeymoon, but have had to put the plan on hold as Michael continues with his chemotherapy treatment.

They will also be spending time with Sarah Jane’s children Robert, 22, and Jade, 17.