A YOUNG father, who vowed to walk down the aisle with his bride after losing a leg to cancer, has tragically died only days before their wedding.
Stephen Kleszyk, 28, an insurance assessor, and his fiancée Kirsty Curley, 24, were due to be married next weekend.
The couple,who have a two-year-old son Charlie, had originally planned to tie the knot last September but the marriage ceremony had to be postponed when Mr Kleszyk was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer last summer.
Mr Kleszyk, from Portlethen in Aberdeenshire, was found to be suffering from cancer after he discovered a red lump on his foot while celebrating his stag do with his friends in Blackpool in May last year. Surgeons operated to amputate his right leg below the knee last August.
The couple had rescheduled their wedding for 16 March at the Norwood Hall hotel in Aberdeen, but Mr Kleszyk lost his battle with cancer last Wednesday.
His family said: “He fought until his last breath and heaven has gained a true star.”
Mr Kleszyk, who was originally from Stonehaven and a former pupil of the town’s Mackie Academy, was found to be suffering from sarcoma – a rare form of cancer.
His friends set up a Facebook support page for Mr Kleszyk and within weeks more than £25,000 had been raised to help buy a prosthetic leg and pay for any changes to the couple’s home.
Speaking last September, he told how he believed he had beaten cancer and urged others to take heart from his story.
He said: :“I just want to urge anybody who thinks there may be something wrong to get it checked out. Or if anybody gets diagnosed with cancer, or has to have an amputation, they can pick up the phone and ring me.
“Don’t give up with it. If something is wrong, keep on pressing at it.”
He continued: “I’m just an ordinary lad. I’ve done nothing special. If I can do it, then anyone can.”
Mr Kleszyk added: “I’m the luckiest man in the world. I’ve beaten cancer, I have a beautiful fiancée and a gorgeous wee boy. You do it for them – they are the ones who kept me going.
“If my story can inspire just one person to take any changes in their body seriously then I’ve done my job.”
Mr Kleszyk is survived by his fiancée and son, parents Maria and Kenny, brother Gary and sister Annemarie. A celebration of his life will be held on Friday at Aberdeen Crematorium.