A terminally ill woman who was diagnosed with progressive motor neurone disease is to use a Stephen Hawking-style voice technology to say her VOWS on her wedding day.
Valiant Angela Brown, 48, will muster the strength to walk down the aisle with her father David Robinson despite being wheelchair bound, and is even hoping to say “I do” herself in a brave show of defiance.
She will also pre-programme the rest of her wedding vows ahead of the big day with partner Tim Gates, 47, so that they can be played out through an iPad in a unique ceremony.
Angela said: “Given what we’ve all been through as a family over the last few months, it is going to be a poignant occasion, as well as a happy one.
“My speech is barely understandable to anybody now, although I can still hear my own voice in my thoughts and in my writing.
“I will keep battling to do the little things which now seem like big things and prove that no matter what MND throws at me, I am not about to call it a day just yet.
“There’s no getting away from it; MND is a terminal illness but I do not want to give into it.”
Angela, a former learning assistant, was diagnosed with the progressive bulbar palsy form of motor neurone disease (MND) in April 2017 after developing a slurring in her speech.
Her diagnosis mainly affects the muscles of the face, throat and tongue, with early symptoms including slurring of speech or difficulty swallowing.
People with PBP have a life expectancy of between just six months and three years from onset of symptoms.
Angela’s partner Tim Gates, a former royal mail worker, said: “We are so excited for the big day.
“We have planned the date to be the one year anniversary of Angela’s first foreign holiday.
“The wedding has been planned for around eighteen months but with everything that has happened we haven’t been able to set a date until recently.
“It has been a real rush over the past few weeks to be able to sort everything out but we can’t wait.
“It is going to be such a great day.”
Angela, from Leeds, West Yorks., met Tim after they both graduated from Leeds University in 2012.
Tim said: “I got put in the wrong line at graduation and got speaking to Angela.
“A few months later I returned to the University to start a bachelors degree and I couldn’t believe that she was in the same class.
“We got talking, got together and have been a couple ever since.
“I used to be quite shy in front of people but Angela saw past that and I can’t wait to marry her.”
The couple are set to marry at Leeds Town Hall on August 26, with family and friends excited to be there on the big day.
One of Angela’s daughters, Victoria, 22, said: “My mum is my absolute hero and her strength is amazing.
“We are so lucky to live at a time when this technology is available, so my mum isn’t as trapped or lonely as she otherwise might be.
“MND is not all there is to live. It will not be all we live for. It will be on the side-lines, making every joyous moment even sweeter for us.”
Angela has been sharing her experience of living with MND through her blog (www.angie1926.wordpress.com) in a bid to raise awareness of the disease and help others who may be diagnosed with the condition.