This loving couple were not legally able to wed in their native Australia, but wanted to before Lee succumbed to pulmonary disease.


Lee Bransden and Sandra Yates have been friends for 30 years and together as a couple the last eight. Lee is 78 and in the late stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She'd been given 8 weeks to live, made it through Christmas and is now hoping to make it to one more Christmas with the woman who is now her wife, Sandra Yates.

We're rooting for you. (screenshot via TVNZ)

After her diagnosis, Lee and Sandra wanted to get married, but since they're both on pensions, they didn't have the finances to travel someplace where they could. Though Australia is perceived as progressive, it's still holding back on legalizing gay marriage. To get somewhere that their union would be recognized cost a lot and things were rough; they'd even had to sell their camper van to pre-pay for Lee's funeral. An organization called Australian Marriage Equality stepped in and crowdsourced the money needed to fly Lee and Sandra to New Zealand and to give them a beautiful ceremony.

Sources: TVNZ | h/t BuzzFeed | Gotya Photography