A Perthshire woman has begun planning her own funeral after being given just months to live after a devastating cancer diagnosis.
Kirsty Maxwell was diagnosed with a rare signet cell tumour in her stomach, which has since spread to her oesophagus and begun attacking her organs.
As a result, the 31-year-old has also been forced to bring forward plans to marry her fiancée Nadia Huggan and the pair will tie the knot in a simple registry office service next week.
The community of Alyth, where Kirsty owned two businesses, has rallied round the couple to raise more than £6,000 in a GoFundMe appeal to cover the cost of her funeral.
Video of Kirsty and Nadia thanking the people of Alyth is above this article
Nadia said the pair’s biggest fear is coronavirus could prevent the funeral being a proper celebration of Kirsty’s life.
She said: “No one thinks you are going to be planning your own funeral at 31. We’ve already spoken to undertakers and I’m already taking pictures of her with friends so we can put together a slideshow.
“I think she just wants anyone who can be there to be there and not remember her in a sad way.
“Our biggest fear is that coronavirus stops that and means only a certain number of people are able to attend.”
She added: “Sometimes this doesn’t feel real. We are actually going to the registrars to get married on the 29th.
“We’ve been engaged for a while and we wanted to do it properly with a big wedding but because Kirsty doesn’t have long left we decided just to go with a couple of witnesses to get married.
“We should be planning a wedding but instead we are planning a funeral.”
Kirsty added her cancer is so rare that doctors at her surgery had only ever seen one case before.
She described the experience of planning her own send-off as “surreal”.
“I’m just zoned in on getting it all sorted so it’s not left for my family to deal with. I’ll also be able to have things the way I want but all the stressful things will have been done.
“I’m lucky in the sense that I have the opportunity to have a few months – it could have just happened and I wouldn’t have the chance to do all the things I wanted to do.”
She added: “The people of Alyth have been amazing – they’ve raised over £6,000, which is completely overwhelming.”