Father-of-two Luke Smith fulfilled his dying wish when he married childhood sweetheart Claire.
Window cleaner Luke (30) was diagnosed with leukaemia in July 2013. He had a bone marrow transplant in January this year but was given the news in October that there was no further treatment for him and he died on November 27th in Pendleside Hospice.
But not before he fulfilled his two wishes – to see his younger daughter Lilah (2) baptised and to marry Claire (27), who he met when she was 14, through friends.
“He fulfilled both his wishes,” said Claire, who also has daughter Mia (6) and lived with Luke in Rosegrove.
“We had Lilah baptised in October and we had originally planned to get married in January 2015, although we had been engaged since I was 18.
“However, they told us the news in October that it was terminal and so we organised it in a few days and got married at All Saints and St John the Baptist Church, Habergham. It was a lovely day.”
Luke’s mum Collette Alexander said: “Luke told me all he wanted was to see Claire walk down the aisle in her wedding dress and have a ring on her finger and his two girls as bridesmaids.
“He was in a wheelchair at this stage and was struggling to talk but his vows were loud and clear. He fulfilled his last wishes and we are so proud of him.”
Luke, who was brought up in Padiham and was a former pupil at Padiham Green and St Theodore’s Schools, was described by his mum as “an immensely fit lad who had never been ill”, but began to feel breathless and tired and struggled to carry Lilah up the stairs.
He was diagnosed with leukaemia when he was 29.
“He was so brave,” said his mum, who is separated from Luke’s dad Stewart Smith. “It was such a shock for us but he sailed through the chemotherapy, never complained and, when he had the bone marrow transplant, we thought he had got through it.
“However, it came back and we were stunned when we were told there was no cure.”
Lilah’s baptism was organised as was the wedding which took place on November 1st.
“He was so proud of his girls, he was an amazing dad and he was heartbroken he was leaving them and wouldn’t see them grow up,” said his mum, who has two other sons, Charles and Scott.
“He was always more worried about everyone else and how they would cope, especially Claire. He was so strong and is our hero.”
Luke’s funeral is at Burnley Crematorium at 10-40am this morning with family flowers only and donations to Pendleside Hospice.