A LOVING daughter is in a race against time to get married before her mother dies of cancer.
Michelle Shirkey is suffering from advanced lung cancer and has been told she will not live to see this Christmas.
Michelle, from Dundee, had already drawn up a “bucket list” of things to do before she dies, including seeing her daughter, Cheryl, get married.
Cheryl, 26, in the space of just three days, has organised a wedding with her boyfriend of five years, Kevin Soutar.
And although they have firmly arranged the date for December 3, Cheryl is still desperately trying to get a new dress.
Her appeals for help on Facebook have touched the hearts of thousands of people across the UK – and offers of help have flooded in, including providing the venue and flowers.
Cheryl, a mother-of-three, only learned on Saturday that her 47-year-old mother had been given three weeks to live.
She said: “We got the news the day before her 47th birthday but she was doing really well – we were just out shopping and laughing the other day.
“Then she started complaining of pain in her side and I took her to hospital. It was then we found out that the cancer had spread to her spleen and the doctor said she had few weeks left to live.”
Cheryl added: “I wasn’t planning on getting married for a few years but all the stress will be worth it on the day. It will mean everything to me to have my mum there.”
The brave woman says she is completely “overwhelmed” by the kindness of everyone that has gotten in touch and that she “never expected anything like this.”
Originally Cheryl wanted the wedding to be a surprise but head bridesmaid Ann Dodds says Michelle now knows and is “thrilled” for her daughter.
Best friend, Ann, 46, said: “ She’s so excited. Apart from this she has been putting on a really brave face because at times like this you have to.
“We’re just all praying she can hold on for the next two weeks and make it to the big day.
“We’re absolutely gobsmacked by the response we’ve had from people. There’s hundreds and hundreds of people volunteering to help and stuff. We’ve even had offers from as far away as Essex.”
Although several dresses have been offered to the bride-to-be, best friend Ann says having a brand new dress would just make her day.
Ann said: “If we had the money we would buy Cheryl a new dress ourselves. She deserves it but sadly we can’t. It would absolutely make her day if she could have that special new dress that’s all hers.”
After the devastating news from doctors, Cheryl took to Facebook to ask for advice from strangers.
She wrote: “Does anyone have any idea about how to have a short notice wedding?
“Nothing big. My mum only has a few weeks to live and I really want her at my wedding.
“I don’t know where to start or what to do but if anyone can help me please let me know, I want her by my side.”
The venue, the food, the flowers and photography have all been taken care of but the search continues for the dress and kilts for the men.
One kind-hearted friend has even offered to tattoo the wedding bands on for free to save the additional cost of rings.
An anonymous donation of £500 has also been given to buy the mother-of-the-bride a new outfit for the day.