A contestant on First Dates with terminal brain cancer has found love after a viewer 'felt compelled' to get in touch with him.
Julian Fiano appeared on the show in December 2018 and his positive attitude towards his diagnosis inspired viewers - none more so than Lucy Docherty.
The 30-year-old was warned by her friends and family that it could bring her a lot of pain if she got attached to Julian, 32, who was given between nine and 12 months to live when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma four years ago.
Unperturbed, Lucy made her move, and now she's 'happier than ever' sharing her life with Julian.
She said: "Our relationship has progressed to a level maybe neither of us expected. Now we live together and he's my best friend as well as my partner.
"I'm fully aware of Julian's prognosis and we face it head-on together, but I want to enjoy our relationship like other people our age and I feel blessed that we are able to do that.
"Julian had his sperm frozen before he had chemotherapy so it may be possible we can have a baby. We're thinking long and hard as, if we did have a baby, we have to consider that I may be a single parent in the future and if that would be fair on our child.
"But whatever happens, I know if we did have a child, they would always know they were wanted and loved."
Julian too was reluctant to get close to Lucy at first because of his prognosis, but now he is so grateful that he found love through First Dates, in a roundabout kind of way.
He said: "Right after my diagnosis in 2016, I felt suicidal. I remember lying in my hospital bed and thinking it would be better if I wasn't here - I didn't want to be a burden to my family and cause them suffering.
"But I changed my perspective and started counting my blessings. It's taken cancer to make me realise how precious life is and what's really important - being surrounded by the people I love.
"At first, I shied away from anything serious as I didn't want to risk hurting Lucy, but she convinced me we should go for it. Thinking about having a baby together is a huge decision. If we went ahead, I'd want to be around to see our child grow up but I have to accept that may not happen. If I'm not around, I know Lucy would be a wonderful mother.
"It may not have been in the usual way, but I'm so grateful First Dates found me love and I'm blessed to have Lucy at my side."
The couple shared their story to support The Brain Tumour Charity and raise awareness about its Great Minds campaign, which aims to raise funds for research and supporting people living with a brain tumour.
Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: "We are very grateful to Lucy for sharing her and Julian's touching story to help us raise awareness.
"As Lucy says, a brain tumour diagnosis has an impact on partners and the whole family, not solely the person living with a brain tumour, which is why our support services and new relationship counselling service are incredibly important.
"Research is our only real hope of finding a cure for this brutal disease which is why, despite Covid-19, we are funding £4.8 million for vital research over the next five years."
Featured Image Credit: The Brain Tumour Charity