The Wirral couple move their wedding forward after receiving a devastating diagnosis

A DEVASTATING medical diagnosis has shattered a couple’s romantic plans for a wedding in Spain.

Steve Kennet and Byron Schofield of Ellesmere Port had planned to get married in Sitges 20 minutes up the coast from Barcelona where they have many friends.

But when doctors told Steve, 57, he had motor neuron disease after a year of symptoms, the couple were forced to change their plans.

Byron, 38, said: “He was diagnosed in January this year. It was quite a shock, even though we knew it could be MND.

“Steve had long term back problems and had a spinal fusion 20 years ago. When he started with foot drop difficulties we thought it might be related to this, but no.

He is now on medication, but there is no cure for this cruel terminal illness.

The pair met at a mutual friend’s art exhibition in Manchester and retro sweets including Love Hearts were the table decorations offered to guests.

Byron said: “He sat across from me and passed me a Love Heart that said ‘hey boy’ and raised his eyebrows. I thought ‘he’s into me, he’s gay’.

“That was nine years ago, and I was living in Manchester. We decided to give him a year, then we decided to live together, and I moved in with him at his home in Ellesmere Port.

Prior to his diagnosis, Steve was a plant operator for Thomas Plant Hire, but after his health began to decline, he retired.

Byron used to work at Legoland in Manchester, but is now a teaching assistant at a primary school and Steve’s primary carer.

Despite the devastating news, Steve and Byron reused to be beaten and have since celebrated their love with a ceremony in Chester.

Byron said: “It was a day of life and laughter.

“We had thought of going to Spain in a year or two but following Steve’s diagnosis, we decided to do it as soon as possible.

“We got married at the Chester Register Office last month with 22 guests including our two parents, followed by a Pesto reception at the Yacht in Chester.

“It may not have been the wedding we were going to have with more guests, but it was a wedding nonetheless and it was still the best day.”

Byron and Steve hope that by sharing their story they can help raise awareness about MND.

Byron added: “We wanted to tell our story to help raise awareness about MND and encourage people to support the Association’s fundraising efforts to provide assistance to people living with the disease and for research into a cure.”

Anyone interested in learning more can go online to https://mndawirral.org.