Joanne and Josh wed at Chambers Flat

THERE have been some tough times along the way, but Joanne Gladigau and Josh Colman were all smiles when they tied the knot at a bush wedding at Chambers Flat on Saturday.

The 22-year-olds were friends at school before they met some years later and fell in love.

The couple said “I do” before 160 family members and friends at Josh’s parents farm before the party moved on to Camp Crazy, the Logan Village property where Joanne grew up

“Camp Crazy just went off,” said mother of the bride Helen Gladigau.

“We had 18 campers in the backyard where people stayed. I’ve just got back from the airport to drop people off so they could head home. It was just amazing.”

Joanne was diagnosed with the cancer squamous cell carcinoma – sunspots – in 2016. Hers do not grow on her skin, but beneath her face invading her sinus, right eye and roof of her mouth.  She has lost an eye, upper mouth and cheek.

She went to hospital with a swollen face and had a wisdom tooth lanced. A biopsy revealed cancer. Twelve days, later surgeons removed a tumour the size of a kiwi fruit. 

Joanne has been through dozens of surgeries, chemo, radiation and 472 days on a feeding tube. She has been in and out of hospital ever since.

Princess Alexander hospital organised a prostethic eye for Joanne to wear on her wedding day.

“They had just six weeks to organise it. Joanne is a lucky girl,” Mrs Gladigau said.

The bride wore a traditional white gown and boots, as she promised she’d do some weeks ago to emphasise that her’s was a country wedding . Her bridesmaids Tiffany Ryan, Alyssa Ditton and Tash Marie wore boots too.

Joanne said her highlight of the day was a chopper ride over Mt Tamborine.

Josh said his was “the ceremony, of course”.

“He’s a man of few words, Josh, but he really is a romantic,” Mrs Gladigau said.

Joanne stopped traffic on Steele Road, Logan Village, when she rode in on her “something borrowed” – a horse called Reggie.

Reggie was loaned to Joanne by a family who stayed at Camp Crazy during the last floods.

“A family of six with a six week old baby were stranded. They stayed with us for a week,” said Mrs Gladigau.

“They wanted to sleep in the car but we wouldn’t hear of it.

“We opened our house to them. Reggie belongs to one of the girls who stayed. It’s an example of how we paid it forward and it came back to us, when they paid it forward.”

Josh and Joanne will set off on a seven-day honeymoon cruise at week’s end.