AT AGE three Kirsty Shepherd was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, a form of cancer that left her with a disabled left arm, hearing impairments and a kidney and heart condition.
A brave child, she fought the disease and won, until five weeks ago at age 21 when the family received the shocking news that her cancer had returned and this time it was terminal.
Her final wish was to marry the love of her life, Zac Johnson, and now her family is doing everything in their power to raise funds to make it happen.
Cousin Jessica Stanshall said it was hard to come to terms with the fact that cancer would claim a life so young.
“It’s so scary, you expect that everyone is fine and then you get a phone call and it just changes everything,” she said.
“I’m just shocked, I’m numb, I don’t really know how to feel.”
Ms Shepherd and Mr Johnson were engaged to be married in September of 2017, but Ms Shepherd’s condition is deteriorating and the family hopes to have them married as her final wish.
“Her one wish before she passes away is to get married, her wedding was supposed to be in September next year and if there’s any remaining money it will go towards a memorial garden for her,” Ms Stanshall said.
“She’s really strong, I guess she always had that fear that it was going to come back but she never let it get in the way.
“She has one year left of university and she was going to be a school teacher, she’s always done a lot to help everybody out and live life I guess.”
As kids Ms Stanshall and Ms Shepherd spent a lot of time together, and Ms Stanshall said she remembers the time fondly.
“She’s really funny, she was always funny, always happy,” she said.
“She always did her own thing.
“You know, some kids can be bullies but she wasn’t, she was just always really nice.”
The Go Fund Me website has raised $13,101 in three days.
To donate visit https://www.gofundme.com/lets-get-kirsty-down-the-aisle.