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Cancer patient finally marries partner of 17 years in a race against time

Cancer patient finally marries partner of 17 years in a race against time

Cas Willow and Heather Richards at their wedding

An Australian same-sex couple got married today (18 December) in a race against time.

The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages granted the couple to be able to waive the mandatory 30-day waiting period as Ms Willow’s future is uncertain.

Cas Willow believed she had beaten breast cancer but a new diagnosis showed the cancer had spread to her brain.

Doctors told Cas she might not make it past Christmas.

What an absolute pleasure it was to play a small part in bringing this day together. | Photo: kateelizabetth Instagram

Beautiful ceremony

Cas Willow and her partner Heather Richards have been together 17 years.

They held their ceremony at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre where Cas has been receiving treatment for the last 18 months.

Staff and hospital suppliers donated rings, cakes, food and a photographer to help the wedding go ahead.

Cas replaced her typical hospital gown with a vintage dress and headpiece.

She was wheeled into the ceremony in her wheelchair with John Legend’s All of Me in the background.

Not a dry eye in the house at Peter Mac Cancer Institute today as Cas & Heather got married. What joy! What an honour to be part of their special moment. #casandheather #loveislove | Photo: jillhennessymp Instagram


Around 60 guests attended the event.

Their wedding certificate is believed by MPs to be the first same-sex marriage certificate to be printed in the Australia state of Victoria.

Politician Daniel Andrews attended the wedding. He is currently leader of the government in Victoria.

Jill Hennessy, Minister for Health in Victoria attended the wedding.

Also in attendance was Martin Foley, Minister for Equality, Creative Industries, Mental Health, Housing, Disability and Ageing in Victoria.

Cas and Heather, what an absolute pleasure to be apart of your wedding, and not to mention, Victoria’s first same sex wedding! Finally you can both be wife and wife! Props to Peter Mac Cancer hospital for putting on such a beautiful celebration. | Photo: bellaolive_ Instagram


Attendees of the wedding applauded Peter MacMillan Cancer Center for putting on such a ‘beautiful celebration’ for the couple.

Cas and Heather asked for guests to donate to the centre instead of buying them wedding gifts.

Premier Daniel Andrews obliged and donated $50,000 to the center.

He said: ‘The ceremony was sad and beautiful in equal measure.’

Heather added: ‘To now be able to carry on afterwards and say that she was my wife, and not just my partner, it adds completion to the relationship.’

#casandheather #lovewins #samesamewedding | Photo: bellaolive_ Instagram