real life

Danielle's fiancé died a day before the wedding. Two months later, a parcel arrived from him.

Ashley Grant-Smith passed away the day before he was due to get married in October 2017.

The 27-year-old British man had reached the end of his two-year battle with a rare form of blood cancer.

But as his loved ones struggled to piece their lives back together, his fiancée, Danielle Cumberworth, received an incredible gift, two months after his passing.

Unbeknown to Danielle, Ashley had arranged to have a custom-made engagement ring crafted for her.

“Two months after Ashley died, I got home from work and had missed a parcel being delivered. I went to the sorting office and picked it up,” she told the Leicester Mercury.

“I opened it up in the car in the car park and it was an engagement ring from Ashley.”

Ashley Grant-Smith & Danielle Cumberworth
Danielle Cumberworth received a gift from her late fiancé Ashley Grant-Smith two months after his death. Image: JustGiving

Danielle said she had not been expecting the ring at all, but was grateful for it.

"It was total surprise. I didn’t cry, I laughed. He had not told me about it at all. It is a beautiful diamond ring in white gold," she added.

The couple first met while they were both on holiday in Crete in 2015.

Danielle said they had been sitting around a pool talking with friends, when Ashley showed her a small lump on his neck.

After noticing the lump had grown in size, Ashley got it checked out by a doctor a few months later.

He was diagnosed with peripheral T-cell lymphoma in April 2016, and began rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, along with medical trials.

Unfortunately Ashley didn't respond to any of the treatments, and after getting sicker, it was revealed in September 2017 that his cancer was terminal.


"I was there in the hospital room with him and his mum and dad and sister when the doctors gave him the news," Danielle said.

“I was just numb."

Ashley Grant-Smith & Danielle Cumberworth
Sadly, Ashley passed away the day before his wedding to Danielle. Image: JustGiving

The couple then moved in with Ashley's parents, where Danielle and his mum became carers for him.

One day, they got to talking about life regrets, and Ashley told Danielle he regretted not marrying her.

From there, they set about planning a wedding, and Danielle said she was at the Leicester Register Office getting the paperwork sorted for their wedding the next day when Ashley's dad called her and told her she needed to come home immediately.

"I knew then that Ashley had died," she said.

"When I got back to this parents' house he was just lying there. It was awful."

Although the couple tragically never got to exchange vows, Danielle says the ring Ashley bought her will stay with her always.

"I will treasure it forever, and our wedding rings that were never used," she said.

"We had a relatively short time together but it has given me so many memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life."

To make a donation to Bloodwise, a charity committed to improving the lives of blood cancer patients, please visit Danielle's JustGiving page.

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