Our Hero Bride Competition Winner - Freya Rose

Our Hero Bride Competition Winner

We have found our Hero Bride...
Thank you to everyone who entered our competition and nominated the hero bride in their life, we absolutely loved reading all of your incredible stories. After carefully looking through all of the entries, we have chosen @clairibell88 as the lucky winner of £1,000 worth of bridal accessories from ourselves and Victoria Percival Accessories.
It was a difficult decision, as all of the nominees are heroes in their own way. Claire hasn't just been a hero through Covid-19, her life has been dedicated to 10 years of hospital appointments and caring for her children through their illness.  
When were your children first diagnosed and how have they coped with the diagnosis and journey so far?
My oldest daughter Lacey was diagnosed at 7 months old with acute myeloid leukaemia. She had been ill since birth and was in a coma and on life support the first two weeks of her diagnosis. She left the hospital the day before her first birthday. She still attends clinics and has had to have yearly heart scans to ensure that the chemo hasn't left any damage.
Having a child diagnosed with cancer must be heartbreaking, but to have your second child also diagnosed must have come as even more of a shock - can you tell us what happened when you received this news and how you managed to navigate through this difficult time whilst remaining positive for your family day-to-day?
My youngest daughter Imogen was admitted on Valentine’s Day in 2019 and was diagnosed that night. She was 4 at diagnosis. Imogen did 10 months of intensive chemo and is now on maintenance chemo until 21/06/2021.
I knew in my gut that it was the same the second time, I just didn’t want to believe it would happen again, nor did I believe it could. Lacey’s doctor who I know very well and love to pieces came alone to tell me about Imogen and stayed with me for 3 hours until I settled. I’m so glad it was him and he’s also my hero. I was alone when Imogen was diagnosed but family came as quickly as possible. Having two kids diagnosed with different types is extremely rare with only a 1 in 4 million chance it can happen.
I went into autopilot and have been there ever since. There is now a light at the end of the tunnel and if I’m honest I’m the lucky one as I know a lot of children who have sadly passed, so to have my two here is a blessing.
The girls are the true heroes, taking what life throws at them and then coming out on the other side.
What has life been like for the past 10 years?
The past ten years have been very stressful for us as a family. We had just started to enjoy life a little and start to forget about cancer when Imogen was diagnosed. We have spent so much time in hospital and having treatments, it’s just normal now. We’ve never had the chance to save for a house etc and plans have been put to the side, but hopefully, this is something that we can do in the future.
How and when did you meet your partner?
I met Michael five years before we actually got together. He left his number for me on a napkin in the cafe I worked in at the time after school and weekend. We then met again five years later through friends at the pub. As they say, the rest was history.
How did he propose to you?
Michael and I have been together for almost 11 years. It was our ten year anniversary last August and Imogen had a weekend out of the hospital. We had booked one night away to Inverness and we didn’t actually think we would manage it as she had a few sores in her mouth however we did get to go and I had planned to spend the day at Culloden Battlefield and then on to our hotel. Michael then handed me a gift and it was a full 'This Is Our Life' book and this was how he proposed on our ten years together.
What is your vision for the wedding?
My vision for the wedding is that it’s small and intimate. We are only having 20 guests including us at the whole wedding but it’s a two-day event. We get married the week Imogen rings the bell for the end of treatment and she will have her central lines removed etc. Also, that same week will be ten years since Lacey was diagnosed. So the wedding is hopefully the end of an era and moving on to hopefully a happy and healthy future for our family. We’re having a bbq and bouncy castle and live music, as it’s not just a wedding it’s also a celebration of life.
Claire chose a pair of Freya Rose bespoke shoes, she has a pearl/gold theme for her wedding. Claire wanted a low style, so after discussing Claire chose 'Martina Midi' with the 'Fefe Queen' embellishment. We have now called this style 'Martina Queen'. Claire also chose the 'Elodie Crown' from Victoria Percival Accessories.
Has your wedding been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and how?
I didn’t actually move my wedding but found that getting things in place has been a lot harder with not being allowed to meet vendors etc and also a lot becoming booked up with weddings that have been moved. 
You mentioned that you are having a gold themed wedding in aid of the gold ribbon - could you tell us a bit more about this charity? How are you incorporating the gold ribbon theme into your wedding and can you tell us a little more about the style of your wedding?
Gold ribbons signify childhood cancer and so I’m having the gold ribbons incorporated into my flowers. CLIC Sargent has provided support through grants, mental support and help for us as a family. I also will be having wedding favours from the other close to home childhood cancer charities who have been amazing to the girls. Abbie’s sparkle foundation and Logan’s fund. I will be having merchandise from both as favours for the guests. 
I always wanted an exclusive wedding, private and intimate. As I said, the day is just about all of us as a family. The day is mainly themed around gold and pearls. I plan on it being a chilled-out day and hopefully a great time for all of the people close to us who have been by our side all the way.
Through everything, Michael and I have become closer than ever and we are the ultimate team. He’s the only person who knows how I feel and has witnessed what I have.

1 comment

  • CLairibell88

    Thank you all so much I am
    Very very lucky and love the Martina queen 💖💖 delighted they are now going to be on sale all the time

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