A devoted husband wore a PINK WIG everyday for three months to support his fiancee who was having cancer treatment – including on their wedding day.
Pete Bridgeman, who is bald, wore the artificial pink bob to show support for his partner, Debbie, who was being treated for Stage 2 breast cancer.
For 12 weeks, while back in the UK from his job in Afghanistan, dad-of-two Pete was in the pink when he went out grocery shopping or collected his children from school.
He even wore it on his stag do, and got a hairdresser pal to style it especially.
And when he tied the knot with his wife Debbie, 46, guests were amused when he put the hairpiece on after the ceremony, along with his navy suit and purple tie – although Pete had suggested that all guests wear pink wigs to the party.
Debbie said: “The thing with the wig all started as a bit of a joke.
“I bought a pink one off eBay when I got diagnosed. Our daughter put it on and I snapped a photo and put it on Facebook.”
The couple have two children, Teah, aged four, and Zach, aged five, and their daughter was besotted with the wig.
“Teah kept putting it on,” Debbie said. “I wanted to cut Teah’s hair like that and keep it but Pete said no.
“When she saw him wearing it, she said ‘that’s my wig.’”
The fun-loving dad started wearing the wig full time when a pal saw a photo of Teah wearing the wig, and offered him £20 to put it on himself.
Pete came up with a suggestion that for every week he wore the pink wig, a donation of £100 would be made to charity.
Within three months, some £3,500 had been raised.
Pete works as an aircraft mechanic on a U.S airbase in Afghanistan, and spends three months in the UK and three months abroad, as part of his job.
So he set himself the task of wearing the wig every day for 12 weeks to show his wife-to-be that she was not alone.
When they tied the knot on December 16, 2017 Pete had guests in stitches as he posed wearing the unusual headgear.
He even wore it on their honeymoon to Prague.
At the start of January 2017, Pete got down on one knee to propose, and Debbie happily said ‘yes.’
But as they prepared for the wedding, the bride-to-be decided to treat herself to a tummy tuck and breast uplift – and doctors insisted she had a mammogram as she was aged 45.
Their world was turned upside down when it emerged that Debbie had a form of aggressive breast cancer, which had gone completely undetected.
She said: “We started planning the wedding at the beginning of the year and it was diagnosed in April.
“I decided I was going to have a breast uplift and tummy tuck, paid for privately.
“Because of my age, they did a mammogram to make sure there was nothing untoward.
“That’s how I found out – it was an awful shock.”
During the year-long ordeal, Debbie started chemotherapy in June and finished in October.
She managed to avoid having a mastectomy, instead having a less invasive lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
“If I hadn’t had that mammogram it probably would have spread and I wouldn’t have noticed,” Debbie said.
The couple, who have been together for eight years, live outside Yeovil, Somerset, and every time they went into town they were approached by curious passersby.
Debbie added: “For three months he was home and he wore it every day.
“He had to take it off for the wedding ceremony but they rest of the day he was wearing it.
“It was quite bizarre. We couldn’t go into town without people coming up to us.”
They donated the cash to Yeovil District Hospital’s cancer department, which supported Debbie during her ordeal.
Debbie also wore a wig for the big day on December 16, as well as a grey beaded dress.
She said: “I’m still having an injection every three weeks and I’ll be taking a tablet for the next five years.
“Pete really helped me to keep my spirits up, and for the duration of my treatment I was at home with two preschool children.
“They got used to the wig very quickly.”
Pete added: “It wasn’t too uncomfortable. It was pretty weird having something on my head again as I started going bald when I was 17.
“I got used to it quickly. When I took it off, I found it cold.”
He wore it between November and January, and stored it on a special wig stand similar to those in hat shops, kept in the kitchen.
“Debbie bought a few to try on when we started talking about the inevitable hair loss,” Pete said.
“I don’t think she even put that one on, and it quickly became mine.”
The bride-to-be was self conscious about wearing a wig to her wedding, so Pete suggested that they ask all the guests to wear pink wigs – which she refused.
“Everyone who was coming knew about the wig,” he said. “We tried to raise as much as possible for the hospital.
“We had a collection bucket at the wedding reception. When I was out on my stag do someone started on me, and then saw my t-shirt, and emptied his pockets.
“I even got Debbie’s friend who is a hairdresser to trim it, because I didn’t like the style.”