Ashleigh Simrajh was told she had just days to live when she was diagnosed with cancer — but the brave terminally ill bride “fought like a superstar” saying “I do” in front of 50 close friends and family on Saturday.
The 23-year-old was diagnosed with cancer more than a year after she was told the lump on her leg was not suspicious.
Her family claims the doctor dismissed it for nothing more than a “wart” and sent her to a surgeon without taking a biopsy.
“Ashleigh is 23 years of age and has terminal cancer due to a GP and specialist not conducting basic tests like a biopsy,” her father Tony Simrajh said on a GoFundMe page set up for his sick daughter.
“She is on a mission to get her story out there for young people to get checked but also to get another doctor to have a look at it if you are still not sure.
“That would have saved her life if she did.”
The family got told in August she had just one to three days to live, however nearly two weeks on the young woman went on to marry the love of her life Jason Hale in an emotional ceremony at Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast.
“To pull a wedding together in less than two weeks is an enormous task but we have had some wonderful people helping and offering so many items and love,” Mr Simrajh wrote on the page.
“The fight that is in this young lady is amazing and I am so proud of her. To be told last Tuesday that she had 1-3 days left but for her to be still fighting to make her wedding is amazing.”
Ashleigh was 20 years old when she spotted a lump on her leg and knew something wasn’t right when the lump became painful and started bleeding when she knocked it.
She took herself to another doctor who immediately did a biopsy — two days later she was diagnosed with melanoma.
“She first saw a GP in 2018 who told her it was a wart and referred her to a specialist,” Mr Simrajh told Daily Mail Australia.
“Ash thought it was a skin specialist but we now know he was a general surgeon who again told her it was cosmetic and would cost $2500 to get removed.
“Neither of them did a biopsy on it and Ashleigh left reassured that it wasn’t anything to worry about.”
However, nearly one year on she was diagnosed with melanoma with her devastated father saying she also has lung cancer, liver cancer and cancer in her chest
Ashleigh and her family have launched legal action against two practitioners. He told the publication the legal case is not about money but is instead about the doctors “owning up to their errors and taking responsibility”.
“Ash weighs 34 kilograms now and is skin and bones. She is under palliative care and struggles for every single breath,” Mr Simrajh said, adding the family all live in dread about what is going to happen to Ashleigh.
“She is just an amazing young lady who deserved better than what she has to face,” he said.
After hearing about Ashleigh’s story, Prime Minister Scott Morrison sent her a letter thanking her for her efforts in reminding Australians about the dangers of skin cancer.
“I know these are poignant days for you: a wedding time with the family and friends and reflections on what was. Even Prime Minister’s can’t fathom why such things happen in life.
But I do know you will be surrounded by love — and I hope the joy of your wedding day surpasses your dreams,” the Prime Minister said in his touching letter.
Mr Simrajh’s said his daughter’s wedding was both the happiest and saddest day of his life.
“To see her so fragile on what should have been her happiest day was heartbreaking but yet seeing the love that was in the room for her was very inspirational,” he told the Daily Mail.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions Ashleigh and her father were unable to dance, but listened to Count On Me by Bruno Mars as their father/daughter dance.
“The guests really belted it out while I tried in between crying while her mother Tracey and sister sat holding her hand. It brought a smile to her face,” he told the publication.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had also heard about Ashleigh’s story, calling her ahead of her wedding on Saturday and sending flowers.
She also gave Ashleigh her mobile number to send wedding pictures and to reach out to her if she needed anything.
“Ashleigh’s message is making it to so many people, she is saving lives,” her father said on the GoFundMe page.
The family have not only received an overwhelming amount of messages of support, but also from people who have had their skin rechecked to find out that they have melanoma.
“She is so driven to save other lives that she is spending her limited time left trying to help other people,” Mr Simrajh said.
The family set up the GoFundMe page to share Ashleigh’s story and spread her message.
“Please share this link not just for the donations but so everyone sees her story and help her spread the message to everyone re medical checks,” her father wrote.
“So let’s spread Ashleigh’s story it may save someone’s life.”