Terminally ill woman gets wedding boost

Invercargill bridal shop owner Donna Rae Dawson, left, enjoys a laugh with lovebirds Nikita Ringdahl and Susan Johnston ...
Robyn Edie

Invercargill bridal shop owner Donna Rae Dawson, left, enjoys a laugh with lovebirds Nikita Ringdahl and Susan Johnston after they chose their donated wedding dresses on Friday.

Invercargill businesses have joined worldwide support for two women who plan to get married before one succumbs to brain cancer.

It was love at first sight when Canterbury couple Susan Johnston, 42, and Nikita Ringdahl, 31, met last October.

They got engaged this year, but their long-term future together was thrown into disarray when Johnston was diagnosed with a large brain tumour.

She had surgery and is undergoing radiation treatment and chemotherapy, but has been told she has between five and 15 months to live. 

The need to get married became more urgent with news of the illness, with October 1 the date set, but a lack of funds made planning difficult.

However, people from across the country and around the world have rallied to their aid.

More than $3,500 so far raised on a Givealittle page set up for them, and most of their wedding needs have been offered without charge.

Also, Invercargill bridal shop owner Donna Rae Dawson flew the couple to Invercargill on Friday and shouted each of them a wedding dress and accessories, totalling about $7500.

They both chose the first dresses they tried on.

The Kelvin Hotel in Invercargill put the couple up in the honeymoon suite for the night without charge.

Ad Feedback

The couple said they were overwhelmed with the support many people had given them.

"It feels incredible ... we never expected anything like this, we just wanted to get married," Ringdahl said.   

They had met after communicating on a 'lost cats' Facebook page.

Ringdahl had lost her cat and Johnston was messaging her online, trying to help her find it. 

"We met up, had a drink and the rest is history," Ringdahl said.

"We didn't find the cat but we did find true love." 

They hope to travel around the South Island in a Comby van for their honeymoon.

Donna Rae Dawson, owner of the Brides by Donna Rae bridal shop in Invercargill, said her instant reaction was to help the couple when learning of their story, so she decided to fly them to the city and donate them their wedding dresses.

Dawson said she was "all about love" and wanted to help give the couple a beautiful wedding experience.

"Susan is so young and has suffered a terrible blow in life and I am all about paying it forward."

 

 

 

 




 

 

 - The Southland Times

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

'Lengthy delays' after breakdown

Traffic was heavily congested after the breakdown.

Southern motorway finally cleared after traffic grinds to standstill.

Party's $100K damage bill video

The walls of the house were tagged and riddled with holes.

An open invite on Facebook, an empty house and the trail of destruction caught on video.

Woman hit by car dies

A woman is dead after being hit by car in Northland overnight.

A 67-year-old woman is dead after being hit by a car near Kaikohe.

'Business as usual' soon video

Tanker HMNZS Endeavour is back on standby because of Auckland's ground fuel re-supply efforts, Judith Collins said.

Energy Minister Judith Collins says Auckland airport's fuel crisis is coming to end.

Wellington

The rise, and rise, of Kāpiti

A new housing subdivision in the northern end of Waikanae illustrates the rapid expansion of the Kapiti coast.

It's a strip of land north of Wellington facing more change in a few years than most districts face in decades - $2 billion worth.

Oh baby, cash for eggs?

"Emma" was only given life because of the kindness of a donor she never met. (Stock photo)

Woman conceived with donated sperm decries idea of big pharma taking hold in process.

Grand plans for Grand Arcade

An artist's rendering of the refurbished Grand Arcade, forecast to be completed early 2019.

The building is the site of one of the few fatalities in Wellington due to an earthquake.

How the sevens were lost

In total, less than 18,000 spectators attended the Wellington Sevens across both days - the stadium's capacity is 32,500.

Organisers were in losing battle for an event Wellington had fallen out of love with, emails show.

Canterbury

'This can never happen again'

Neil Jones died after what the coroner called an "appalling" failure of care by the Canterbury District Health Board in 2013.

Neil Jones was more than a homeless alcoholic left at a bus stop. He was a father, a son, a brother and a friend.

Flaws in Watson case video

Ben Smart and Olivia Hope disappeared in the Marlborough Sounds in 1998.

Even now, almost 20 years on, Guy Wallace still has moments when he racks his brain for details lost to time.

A lifetime of compassion

Pauliina at her home in Little River.

Doctor in a rural African village, psychiatrist, language buff and art history graduate – Pirkko Verrier Jones was a woman of varied talents.

New shops and foodcourt planned

A new foodcourt and seating areas for diners will be added at the southern end of Northlands mall.

Christchurch's Northlands Mall is planning to embark on another extension.

Waikato

Lisa Vanin places at WOW

The Cloak of Pīwakawaka, by Lisa Vanin, onstage on Friday night.

Cambridge designer Lisa Vanin places second in the Aotearoa section at WOW.

Six-vehicle crash

Diversions are in place at the Link Road intersection south of the crash.

Three cars, a van, a motorbike and truck are involved, closing SH1 near Wairakei.

Robber chased

The superette is on the corner of Edinburgh Road and Brocas Avenue.

Masked robber demands cash, but store worker fights back.

Pair let drunk drive them home

Blake Lewis Oettli, 21, was sentenced in the Hamilton District Court on Thursday.

Two people who let a drunk drive them home fared badly. 

Taranaki

Home stretch awaits Hareb

Paige Hareb is looking to make her presence felt in her final two events of the year.

She's been in contention all year, now the Kiwi surfer knows it's time to lock in her qualification to the world tour.

Justice 'not being seen'

A Taranaki lawyer claims his legally blind client's access to justice is under threat because the man can't get his ...

Lawyer argues legally blind client's "access to justice" at risk because of no new glasses.

Living on with a head injury

Riki Hoeata has found success in smoothies after having to move on from rugby.

Former rugby lock tackles healthier life after concussion forces him to move on from the sport he loves most.

Three siblings guilty

Having no money was a factor for Benjamin Hayes, who stole cars and committed burglaries in June and July this year. ...

A unusual court session provided a glimpse into what drives people to turn to crime.

Manawatu

Taking to the dance floor

Anniversary committee chairman Tom Fitzsimons looks through a Manawatū Dancing Club scrapbook.

MEMORY LANE: The Manawatu Dancing Club has been gliding on for 50 years.

Recognition for railcar

The Pahiatua Railcar Society's community award win recognises three decades of work restoring this one-of-a-kind railcar.

Community award honours 30 years of hard work restoring a vintage railcar for public use.

Teachers investigated

One teacher has been struck off and two others are under investigation after behaving inappropriately towards students. ...

One teacher struck off and two others investigated for inappropriate relationships with students.

Law career comes to an end

Peter Coles talks to reporters after Ewen Macdonald is declined parole in 2013.

The curtain is coming down on the legal career of a canny courtroom operator.

Nelson

WOW tribute to late designer

The Art of New York City created by Martin de Ruyter, Karen Stade and Troy Stade, modelled by Nicole Gibson.

The memory of a young designer who took out the World of WearableArt Awards top prize is being kept alive in a garment at this year's finals.

Death of a gentleman

Ron Brinsdon, pictured in 2005, on his dawn can collection run in Hardy St. He and a friend would flatten the cans and ...

Homeless man Ron Brinsdon died after collapsing in Nelson. Behind the familiar face was a hidden story.

Hansen to give Havili ABs shot?

David Havili has reached a point where his coach feels he is now comfortable in the All Black environment.

Is it time to hand David Havili his debut against Argentina?

Flaws in Sounds murder case video

Ben Smart and Olivia Hope disappeared in the Marlborough Sounds in 1998.

Some things come to mind easily in the Scott Watson case, then it gets murky.

Marlborough

Flaws in Sounds murder case video

Ben Smart and Olivia Hope disappeared in the Marlborough Sounds in 1998.

Some things come to mind easily in the Scott Watson case, then it gets murky - not just because it's decades on.

New boat in the post

Jim and Amanda Baillie are the ninth owners of the Pelorus Mail Boat in 100 years. The new boat will be revealed next ...

For a century, the mail boat has provided a vital link to families cloistered in secluded bays.

Best foot forward for Alzheimers

Barry Brown of Blenheim led last year's memory walk, and will be back with his bagpipes for Alzheimers Marlborough this year.

Blenheim bagpiper Barry Brown will call the tune once again for Alzheimers Marlborough's Memory Walk.

New life on the Kaikōura seabed

Life returns to areas of the Kaikōura Canyon where nothing existsed after the November earthquake. The picture shows a ...

The Kaikōura earthquake caused a violent current that swept away seabed life, but it is coming back.

South Canterbury

Hydro 'dangerous'

Timaru's Hydro Grand Hotel has been assessed as being a dangerous building likely to cause injury or death.

Damning report says Hydro Grand is dangerous, likely to cause injury or death.

Time to spring forward

Butcher Jim Bower's early mornings will be even darker and busier when Daylight Saving kicks in on Sunday.

Dust off the barbecue, it's time for long evenings as Daylight Savings starts.

Gully change approved

An aerial view of Broughs Gully, in the Timaru suburb of Oceanview.

The Brough's Gully site could yield at least 180 sections if the decision survives appeal.

Timaru's next tourism attraction?

In May a High Court Judge ruled the Rangatira be sold to pay off more than $170,000 owed to PrimePort.

Fisherman hopes community will save ship with Hollywood connection from the scrap heap.

Otago

Flames beat back rescuers

The fire was in one unit in a block of four.

Neighbours reportedly tried to rescue the occupant of a Dunedin flat where a person died overnight.

Woman rescued, police thank app

A Christchurch woman was found on Ben Lomond, near Queenstown, about 12am on Friday.

A Christchurch woman was rescued from a Queenstown mountain after her husband tracked her location through a phone app.

Eyes to the sky in Alexandra

Neil Sutherland, who lives at the Alexandra Airport at his hanger, will be displaying his home-built plane at the Wings ...

It's not every day planes down the main street of Alexandra.

Budding booze baron busted

Richard Gray in the Dunedin District Court

A Dunedin man says he feels better after he was busted for selling home brew to two teens who later ended up in hospital.

Southland

Prendergast wants dialogue before ministerial review

John Prendergast, former chief executive of the Community Trust of Southland.

"An independent set of eyes transparently reviewing and reporting publicly on this matter would be very beneficial ..."

Where is Amber-Lee?

Amber-Lee Cruickshank, pictured age one, went missing on October 17, 1992.

Police travelled to Australia looking for answers about what happened to toddler Amber-Lee Cruickshank 25 years ago.

Fighting for those who can't

Southland Boys's High School student  Malachi Agnew, 12, in front, has organised students at his school to have a mufti ...

When Malachi Agnew is rasing money he's trying to save the lives of his mates.

Ballet etiquette 101

I've seen Romeo and Juliet, I don't need the story narrated to me.

OPINION: I love a trip to the ballet but not when the person behind me can't stop talking.

Ad Feedback