In July last year, Brian Horsman was given two weeks to live - but on Wednesday he married his fiancee in Whitby, fulfilling a wish he held with him throughout his gruelling treatment.
On Wednesday, Brian and Elaine Brown, from Billingham were married at Whitby Register Office and enjoyed a traditional seaside wedding dinner - fish and chips.
As Brian defied the prognosis of doctors and made it past the two week mark he was told the rare form of leukemia he had would leave him unable to walk.
Brian had been suffering from what he thought was simple back pain but it turned out to be acute myeloid leukemia which affects men over 40.
After the diagnosis in July 2011, he spent 15 weeks in hospital last year, suffered a stroke caused by the chemotherapy, contracted c-diff and bed sores which were so bad they had to be treated by a plastic surgeon.
He also needed stem cell treatment and received bone marrow transplant from brother David, who was best man at the wedding.
Since eventually leaving hospital in October last year he has defied doctor’s orders and walked down the aisle.
He is still receiving treatment but the once keen rambler, uses a treadmill and exercise bike every day.
As well as his determination, Brian said the inspiration to get better was a photo of him and Elaine at the bottom of the 199 steps while on one of their many visits to Whitby.
He told the Gazette: “When they first told me I was in shock and things went from bad to worse. My initial thought was ‘I will beat this’.
“The doctors said if I wanted to get better I should focus on something positive and this picture was up and I wanted to get there.
“We got engaged when I was laid in hospital.
“Whitby was the obvious choice and when I was laid in bed that was what I thought of.”
His new wife Elaine said: “When Brian was ill, he promised he would marry me here. “Because Brian couldn’t go on holiday for a week, Whitby was just up the road and coming here for two days was just like a holiday for us.
“He is the bravest man I have ever met.”