The problems plaguing our everyday lives can sometimes take a toll on even the most die-hard romantics. With the majority of people questioning something as sacred as love, and an ever increasing number of break-ups and divorce rates, even a happy couple can often find themselves questioning their future together. But Roda Newberry and Damien Leask were determined to live a long, happy, healthy life together, and in the process, they took it upon themselves to restore our faith in the idea of love.
Roda explained that her love story began when she received a message from Damien and added, “We started talking, and three days later, he came down to the Gold Coast."
But in the beginning of the relationship, there was one condition that Roda had made quite clear. According to her, Damien couldn't propose until they had been together for at least two years.
In 2016, Damien’s health took a turn for the worse when his body started rejecting the double lung transplant he had received seven years earlier. The 36-year-old was born with cystic fibrosis and had been living a fairly normal life until doctors found a cancer on his lip.
Later on, the couple was informed that Damien could not get a new set of lungs because the anti-rejection drugs could potentially exacerbate the dormant cancer cells in his body. Although Damien was obviously devastated, he decided to break his promise and pop the question 12 months short of Roda's original deadline.
Damien and Roda decided to go on a cruise. While Roda was getting dressed up for the glamorous night, Damien was already on one knee waiting for her outside. The moment she opened the door, she forgot about all her rules and said yes with happy tears rolling down her eyes.
She found the location of her dreams when they were on a vacation in BliBli, the Sunshine Castle. Roda couldn’t get enough of the place and shared their story with the owners after taking a tour. They then reached out to Lynette Maguire, the founder of "My Wedding Wish", which is a national charity that provides fully gifted weddings to couples facing terminal illnesses. Lynette immediately encouraged Roda and Damien to apply and granted their application just a few days later.
The organization planned an impressive $25,000 wedding in just 3 months and managed everything. The couple wanted to make sure that the mood was light and happy on their big day. They wanted the ceremony to be lively and upbeat, to reflect the beauty of their relationship.
Roda and Damien walked down the aisle together to the tune of Can't Help Falling in Love, with the bride wearing a ball gown and veil fit for a princess. Everyone was dressed up in medieval garb to fit the ceremony's majestic setting. Everything was planned to the tee and there was nothing more they could have asked for. The couple is now honeymooning in Melbourne and enjoying their lives as newlyweds.