Bride’s wedding day a dream come true (The Press)

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(Source | The Press) A Christchurch father was in tears as he walked his terminally ill teenage daughter down the aisle on Saturday.

Tangi Rongo said the wedding had made his 19-year-old daughter’s “dreams come true”.

Maire Taomia was diagnosed with gastric cancer in October and, as a dying wish, asked her father to give his blessing for the marriage.

The Ashburton woman and Marouna Tunui, 23, were married in a bittersweet ceremony before 300 friends and family at St Christopher’s Church in Avonhead.

“I am just happy for her,” Rongo said. “It was very, very emotional, and I was crying all the way down [the aisle]. I don’t know how to describe it; it is more than joy.”

When the doctor told Taomia there was nothing more they could do, she had told her father: “I want to get married.”

The young couple, who have been together for more than two years, have a one-year-old son, Detroit.

The pair have lived in a single-bed room in Christchurch Hospital for the past two months.

Rongo said his daughter was energetic and beautiful during the ceremony, but her illness was not forgotten.

“It would be pretty hard for people to forget the reason behind their early wedding. They all knew she was sick and that was at the back of people’s minds,” he said.

Rongo said Taomia made a speech, saying: “Look at me, I am not sick. Can’t you see me? I am still here.”

Rongo told The Press yesterday a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.

“This weight I have been carrying for the last 3 1/2 months lifted. My daughter can go and enjoy life now,” he said.

“She is free and someone is there looking after her,” he said.

CanTeen, the Cancer Society of New Zealand and Christchurch’s Millennium Hotel covered the costs of a wedding cake, a wedding dress, a limousine, a photographer and a hotel room for the couple’s honeymoon.

1 COMMENT

  1. May their god bless them all.

    May their god walk beside them in the days ahead.

    what a joy and an inspiration

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