Dying wish: dream wedding in New Zealand

Lee Bransden sandra yates dream wedding

A crowd-funding campaign will hopefully make the dream wedding of Tasmanian couple Lee Bransden and Sandra Yates a reality.

Lee Bransden, 75, is terminally ill with end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and has been given just weeks to live.

Her dying wish is to travel to New Zealand to marry her partner, Sandra Yates, 57. But they cannot afford the trip.

It’s something that she really wants and I agree with it. I think it should be a formally recognised relationship.

I’m sure there are people in equally the same situation who have the absolute need to be in a recognised marriage.”

The Devonport couple has been companions for 30 years and in a relationship for eight years.

Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said the campaign was launched after the couple contacted him for support.

Every Australian couple should have the right to legally wed.

Their dire situation is also a reminder that marriage equality is an urgent reform that needs to be resolved now, not some distant or trivial issue that politicians can put to one side.”

Lee Bransden and Sandra Yates

Lee and Sandra both worked as registered nurses and are now both on pensions. They lost their life savings when a builder they employed went bankrupt.

They recently sold their camper van to pre-pay Lee’s funeral.

The fundraising campaign sought to raise $6500 to pay for flights, accommodation and the wedding ceremony.

As of today, the target has been surpassed with more than $8000 pledged, so hopefully they can be legally married before time runs out.

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