A terminal cancer diagnosis was never going to get in the way of happiness for a Leamington couple, whose inspirational actions have won them top place in a national awards scheme.
Chris Clark, who was diganosed with a very aggressive form of cancer in September 2012, and his wife Charlotte, were selected by a panel of judges - including Fearne Cotton, Dynamo, Katie Piper and Louise Redknapp- as winners of the Ultimate Love Story Award in this year’s Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards.
The couple tied at the knot at St Gregory’s church in Offchurch just ten days after Chris’s diagnosis, as he had been told he had just months to live.
The 42-year-old photographer, who has three children from a previous relationship, is currently undergoing gruelling chemotherapy and drug therapy.
The couple had met six years ago, at the wedding of Charlotte’s brother, where Chris was working as the photographer.
It was abdominal pains that led Chris to see a doctor last year - and when he was told at Warwick Hospital that his diagnosis was terminal, he immediately asked Charlotte, who works as a social worker, to marry him.
He said: “I’d been waiting for the right time to propose, but suddenly the importance of marrying Charlotte became quite obvious – she’s my rock and I needed her next to me as my wife for the biggest fight of my life.”
With everyone pitching in, the perfect wedding for 300 guests was arranged in just ten days - and the couple were determined to make the occasion a happy one.
Speaking to the Courier this summer, Charlotte said: “It was the most amazing and magical wedding. It was just as it would have been if we’d had a year to plan it.
“We want to do our bit to beat cancer for future generations.”
Recalling the occasion again after the awards ceremony, which was held in London last week, she said: “Cancer wasn’t welcome at our wedding. Although the speeches were emotional, I didn’t feel sad – I just smiled through the whole day.”
This summer Charlotte ran Cancer Research UK’s Race For Life for her husband, who, despite his illness, went out training with her as she prepared for it. She said: “We know the odds are against us – Chris has got a very aggressive form of cancer. But we have so much love, support and hope on our side. Chris and I are a team and will get through this together.”
Speaking after last week’s ceremony, Louise Court, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, said: “Charlotte and Chris are the most amazing couple who show what true love is all about.
“Our Ultimate Women of the Year Awards celebrate everything Cosmopolitan represents: amazing, smart, inspiring women and men. Charlotte and Chris are thoroughly worthy winners and I’m delighted they were both able to attend the awards to celebrate with us last night.”