THE tale of Claire and Steven Best is a touching love story, from childhood friendship to whirlwind romance to busy, happy family life.

And while it does not end the way anyone wanted it to, amidst the heartbreak,there is hope.

“I know there is a long way to go, and we’re not there yet, but it’s good to know the support is there,” says Claire, 34, from Penilee.

The couple’s story really begins around 20 years ago, when they were friends at school, but it was not until they were in their 30s that they met up again and fell in love.

“I bumped into him a few years ago at the shops and we got chatting over Facebook,” smiles Claire. “It all happened so quickly. We were meant for each other.”

Just four months later Steven was diagnosed with throat cancer.

Claire recalls: “When he got cancer he said - walk away, I don’t expect you to stay. But why would I? This was the person I want to spend the rest of my life with so I wasn’t going anywhere.”

After two operations, Steven could not eat or talk for a long time, and he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. With his family’s support, he came out the other side.

The couple tied the knot on Valentine’s Day in 2014 and soon after they discovered that Claire was pregnant.

When Logan was born, a little brother to Claire’s children Marc and Abi from a previous relationship, the family was complete.

“We were told to move on and stop worrying, so we did,” she adds, softly. “Steven went back to work, we were saving up to buy our dream home for our family and life was looking pretty great for us.”

In the spring of 2015, Steven started to feel unwell and the couple received the devastating news that the cancer had returned, and that this time, there was nothing that could be done.

“It was horrific,” says Claire. “I couldn’t take it in that he was going to leave me. We had this wee baby – we were too young, we were only just married. It just wasn’t right.”

The couple turned to the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice for support.

“A community nurse started visiting and she was like a breath of fresh air,” smiles Claire. “At all the GP and hospital appointments, it’s all very clinical. You’re supposed to understand and sometimes you don’t.”

She adds: “The nurse spoke to us like a normal person. She got him everything he needed and his life became slightly better.”

Sadly, Steven’s condition deteriorated rapidly and the cancer spread to his lungs. On his first Father’s Day with baby Logan, he had trouble breathing and had to go into hospital.

A few days later, he died, aged just 35.

“I was completely numb,” says Claire, slowly. “The hospice helped a lot – I don’t know how I’d have got through it without them. I go to a monthly support group and just being with people who understand is fantastic.

“Abi has used the children’s bereavement Butterfly service which was really good for her, and for me, as I got to meet other parents.

“When you need help, it’s good to know there’s somewhere to go.”

As they prepare to remember Steven at the hospice’s Light Up a Life services in December, Claire and the children, and all of his friends and family will never forget their favourite ‘life and soul’, a man who loved to bring joy to all.

“I wish so much – that he could see the kids growing up, that he could have had more time with his baby boy,” says Claire. “But we’ll always remember him. He brightened everyone’s day.”

Light Up A Life, supported by the Evening Times, is a touching way to remember to a loved one - and it helps to raise vital funds for The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice.

The services, which this year take place at St Andrew’s Cathedral on December 10 and 13, give people the chance to remember friends and family members who have died.

At the end of the service on December 10, everyone will walk over the bridge to the hospice to add a light to the hospice Christmas tree - an especially moving event, as it is the last one at Carlton Place before the hospice moves to Bellahouston Park next year.

The concerts are free, with a suggested donation of £5 at the door, and will feature Lucy Whyte from STV as host, with entertainment from the Kilbarchan Singers on the tenth and Westerton Male Voice Choir on the thirteenth.

To book tickets, visit