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Wonderful wedding day despite cancer challenge

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BIG DAY Louise Swift is pictured on her wedding day last Thursday with Standing4Women campaigner Tara Bleeks.

Áine Ryan


IT is a tale of wedded bliss with a bitter-sweet twist but despite a cancer diagnosis due to the CervicalCheck scandal, Louise Swift was a beautiful bride on Thursday last with the help of an army of local businesses. The 40-year-old Castlebar resident, who married her longterm partner, Mick, with whom she has two children Keelan and Chloe, was inundated with offers of help for her big day after she was interviewed recently about her heart-breaking story by Eoghan McDermott on 2FM.
However, even if she has just undergone chemotherapy for stage four cancer, she told McDermott that she was ‘not giving up hope’.  
“We always wanted to get married, it was always the plan to get married but then the children came and we didn’t really want to go spending the money on a wedding when we had the children to look after and a home to run. It never became a priority and I suppose now that I have got this diagnosis I suppose it is not our last chance to do it because we are not giving up any hope it’s just we just want to do it,” Louise Swift said on 2FM.
So, it was a civil ceremony in the TF Royal Theatre, Castebar for a close-knit group of loved ones, with Carraig Donn providing the outfit and Petals Hair and Beauty indulging the bride in all its cosmetic craftsmanship. (See below for the slew of other businesses that gave so generously to her big day celebrations and more).

Third battle
One of the 221 women to discover last April that she was a victim of the CervicalCheck scandal, Louise Swift is now facing her third battle with cancer since her first diagnosis in 2013 which resulted in a radical  hysterectomy, with a recurrence the following year leading to 28 sessions of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and brachytherapy.
Notwithstanding these challenges, Louise is an active member of the Standing4Women Campaign and has worked tirelessly alongside national organiser Tara Bleeks to keep the issue in the public mind.
Speaking yesterday (Monday), Ms Bleeks said: “The support and goodwill shown to Louise and her family was overwhelming, and myself and Louise are sure that the support will continue with our next campaign that will be launched in the coming weeks. Louise wants to use her story to raise awareness of the HPV vaccine and the importance of young girls availing of it. We are delighted that Yvonne Kilcullen Events will be helping us launch the campaign along with photographer Alison Laredo, and Louise’s daughter, Chloe, who is 21 and has had the vaccine.”

Wedding wizards
From wedding outfits to cakes, cars and photographs, the following businesses generously ensured that Louise, Mick, family and friends had a marvellous wedding day: Carraig Donn; The Sewing Surgery; Petals; Sharon Ralph; Carraig Flowers; Curry’s Cottage; Ray Conroy; Travellers Friend Hotel; Kilcullen Events; Sinéad Nic Gabhann; preciousdays.ie; Stauntons’ Barbers; Alison Laredo. And just to ensure there are treats to look forward to, the  Plaza Hotel will treat Louise and ten friends afternoon tea for her upcoming birthday. Kind offers of  overnight stays are on the cards from the Westport Country Lodge, Mulranny Park Hotel and The Diamond Coast Hotel.