A widow has spoken for the first time about her hopes of having her late husband's child - 20 months after his death.
Beauty adviser Rachel Wyke (pictured), from Walsall, is to undergo the first of two possible IVF tries this month to have the child of her husband, Gareth, who died aged 23 just three months after they wed.
The treatment, which will take place at Birmingham Women's Hospital, will use the sperm he had frozen when he was first diagnosed at the age of 19 with testicular cancer.
Mrs Wyke has been told her likelihood of conception is just 15 per cent, but she said the possible heartache was worth the chance to have her husband's baby.
"Having Gareth's baby would be like having a part of him still with me," she said.
When the couple met, in March 2001, Gareth was a year into remission from testicular cancer.
Mrs Wyke, who was then 19, learned about it when she spotted a scar on his stomach some weeks later. He told her how the cancer had spread to his lymph glands.
"I asked if it meant he couldn't have children and he said, 'not naturally', but he had some of his sperm frozen," she said.
In December 2002 he started having back pain and visited his GP. The cancer had returned, spreading to his bladder and pushing up against his kidneys.
"Gareth had got the news at work," she said. "I was at home and bursting with ideas about us getting married. He looked grey. He said: 'It's come back'. It just knocked him for six."
Four gruelling months of chemotherapy and a major operation in June 2003 was followed by the couple's marriage, in secret, in Newquay, Cornwall, in September.
"We just wanted a special day between the two of us that no one else shared," said Mrs Wyke. "It was the best day of our lives."
However, barely a month after they wed, Gareth became ill and after an agonising five weeks of waiting, the diagnosis was given.
"We were taken into a special room and for some reason I looked to the side," said Mrs Wyke. "I saw a box of tissues and begged to know what was going on.
"The doctor said 'It's come back, we are sorry, there's nothing we can do'."
The cancer had spread throughout Gareth's stomach. He was given weeks to live.
During their final days together she asked her husband how he would feel if she continued to have his baby.
"He said, 'I would love it'," she said. Gareth died on December 11 2003.
A month later she received a letter for an IVF consultation she had requested while Gareth was still alive.
"Nothing can replace Gareth at all, he was the love of my life," said.
Mrs Wyke. "But having a baby with my husband would be like having a part of him still here."
She discovered she was not eligible for NHS treatment, because she no longer had a partner.
With a price tag of #3,500 private treatment seemed out of reach until a husband and wife team of lawyers, also having trouble conceiving, offered to pay.