Brave bride and footy star groom tie the knot in an intimate ceremony after she shared devastating cancer update
- Kellie Gardner married Port Adelaide star Jeremy Finlayson
- She is suffering from stage four cancer
Not even stage four cancer treatment could stand in the way of Kellie Gardner’s dream wedding to her footy star groom.
The brave bride tied the knot with Port Adelaide’s Jeremy Finlayson, both 27, in an intimate ceremony at South Australia’s Tennyson Beach on Sunday afternoon in front of 21 close friends and family.
The imposing 1.97m ruckman towered over his beautiful bride, whose cancer had already seen their nuptials postponed from last October.
She was first diagnosed with bowel cancer aged 25 – three-and-a-half months after her daughter Sophia was born.
Kellie received a year of chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries and her doctors thought the cancer might be gone for good.
But in January came the awful news that it had metastasised and spread to her lungs.
Port Adelaide star Jeremy Finlayson (left) married Kellie (right) on Tennyson Beach, South Australia on Sunday afternoon
Kellie (second left) is pictured with her bridesmaids on Sunday afternoon
Kellie (right) shows off her rings. She married Jeremy Finlayson (left) on Sunday at Tennyson Beach, South Australia
‘I wanted to get married with my hair and I have started losing hair,’ Kellie told The Advertiser.
She wanted the wedding to be a quiet, private affair and ‘a surprise for everyone but our bridal party, and family and friends attending’.
The whole thing took just three weeks to plan, with great help from the bridal party and Kellie’s modelling agency, The Models.
The ceremony was kept so secret, that Sophia, now 19 months, didn’t even know what was happening.
‘Sophia has no idea, she just knows her favourite people will be in Adelaide for the weekend,’ Kellie said.
Kellie is pictured in a hospital bed while undergoing treatment for bowel cancer
Jeremy Finlayson (centre) is pictured with Max Nicholas and Zaccy Williams at his wedding reception on Sunday afternoon
Kellie (right) is pictured with her husband, AFL star Jeremy Finlayson, and their daughter Sophia
Though it rained in the morning, the sun came out in time for Kellie to walk down the aisle in a gown by Made With Love Bridal.
The happy couple wrote their marriage vows separately as they wanted to surprise each other with what they would say.
After they tied the knot, they posed for beaming pictures showing off their rings.
The smitten couple plans to have a bigger celebration in October when the AFL season ends, with Kellie vowing to beat beat her diagnosis and be there for her husband and their daughter.
The couple are also determined to help raise awareness of the danger of bowel cancer for young people, as it is often an illness thought of as something older people get.
Port Adelaide star Jeremy Finlayson (right) is pictured with his wife Kellie and their daughter Sophia
Kellie (left) is pictured with her husband Jeremy Finlayson. They got married on Sunday
The federal Health Department sends out bowel cancer testing kits to all Australians aged over 50, but the Finlaysons have urged younger people to get a colonoscopy if they think something is wrong with their digestive system.
She is proud to have heard of people using her story to convince their GPs to offer them a colonoscopy.
The model said she regrets not having had her digestive problems checked sooner.
‘If I had got all of my tummy problems checked and not just been thinking I had a lactose intolerance,’ she said.