Bride from P.E.I. 'fairy tale' wedding dies

Published on March 15, 2016

Friends and family are describing Charlotte Garland as a gentle soul with a big heart.

Garland, 36, who died last week in Alberta, captured national attention in January when her wedding photos were featured on the photographer's blog.

The Johnstons River native, who is the daughter of Emily MacKay and Leo Killorn, married Trevor Garland on Jan. 9. The couple had planned to get married in the summer, but moved the date up when they discovered Charlotte's cancer had spread throughout her body.

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"She always had a kind word for anyone who was struggling,'' said her friend Dianne Young of Charlottetown. "She was also a warrior, facing a lot of suffering, overcoming many challenges. She helped many people along the way by her strong spirit. I have been blessed to have called her my friend.''

Family, friends and even complete strangers came together with their time and talents to produce a dream winter wedding for the couple.

Wedding photographer Nicole MacKay, who also works as a radiation therapist at the P.E.I. Cancer Treatment Centre, described the wedding on her blog and posted photos, which were picked up by media and readers far and wide.

The bride wrote to The Guardian, describing the day.

"We never dreamed that two people getting married would have such an impact on the community. It just goes to show how a small province like P.E.I. is just like one big family,'' Charlotte Garland wrote.

Trevor Garland expressed his love for Charlotte publicly in a Facebook post after her death.

"God has gained another angel,'' Trevor said. "I love you so much Charlotte Garland; no words can express how much you meant to me. I'm so happy to have spent our time together.

"I'll see you in the next life. I know you will always be my guardian angel.''

Even P.E.I.'s professional basketball team posted condolences on the National Basketball League of Canada's Facebook page.

"The Island Storm basketball organization was devastated to learn of the passing of Charlotte Garland, a vibrant young woman who inspired us all,'' the Storm post read. "Just a few months ago, the Storm visited her at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It was a day we'll never forget.''

Guardian reporter Dave Stewart won't forget meeting the inspirational Islander last July on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Pat & The Elephant, which provides accessible transportation to the handicapped.

"There are so many stories where I've been stranded somewhere and they'd come get me, through health problems, wheelchair problems (and) doctor appointments. If they can fit me in, they fit me in,'' Charlotte told The Guardian.

Funeral arrangements are in care of Belvedere Funeral Home, where a visitation is Friday, 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. The funeral service will be held at Park Royal United Church on Saturday at 11 a.m.

The family requests memorial donations to the Spina Bifada and Hydrocephalus Association of P.E.I.