A Williamtown couple hopes marriage equality legislation will enable them to marry before one of them “leaves this lifetime”.
Cas Willow, who has been with her partner Heather Richards for 17 years, is receiving palliative care for breast cancer that has metastasised to her brain.
Until recently, Ms Willow, 53, continued to work at her Williamstown counselling and clinical hypnotherapy practice with her partner. She has since used her skills to help other patients at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
“A lot of people in palliative focus on dying and that’s not helpful or useful,” Ms Willow said. “They call it end of life – well, I’m calling it transition. Getting married beforehand … I mean, that’s just absolutely fantastic and spectacular.
“It’s not just about getting married – it’s about the equal rights that should have already been there. If we can get that happening before I pass, it gives us that equality that everybody’s struggled for years to get.”
Ms Richards said most people, when they wanted to marry, traditionally needed to ask the father of the bride.
“We had to ask 22 million people and wait for them to vote on it, then wait for the politicians to pass it as law while we wait, hope and pray that the amazing medical team at Peter Mac can keep Cas alive long enough for it to happen,” she said.
Ms Willow hopes to release “Living Life” affirmation cards, which are about living in the now and being present, as part of her legacy.
A friend has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help the couple live life to the fullest.