Locals donate to help Marty's new wife stay in Australia
THEIRS was a love story to rival almost any.
On a whim, English backpacker Lily Taloola McBride decided to stop by the Sunshine Coast before heading back to her hometown of Brighton.
She met Marty Reiv while he was performing at the Sol Bar in Maroochydore and they began a whirlwind romance.
Lily said she was never one to think about conventional marriage, but from the moment she laid eyes on Marty, all of that changed.
They met in March.
Marty proposed on the beach after they skydived in August.
They were married in November but their happily ever after was hanging in the balance, with Lily's two-year working visa set to expire on December 19.
The couple have spent the last month frantically pulling together paperwork and navigating the government maze to get a partnership visa approved.
Marty said they needed $7000 to complete the application and a further $2000 to pay a migration agent to help them with the process and have been frantically saving every dollar they earnt.
"We were harvesting loose change from under the couch cushions and selling all of our worldly possessions in an attempt to raise the funds necessary for the submission," he said.
Following prompting from friends, Marty put their story up on Go Fund Me and within five days, the final piece of the puzzle fell into place as more than 60 Sunshine Coasters showed their support for their marriage by pledging the final $3000 needed.
"We were absolutely speechless, we've had a whole new outlook on life after this month," Lily said.
"We both like living a very simple, self-sustainable life and money isn't a big thing on our checklist.
"Coming up with $9000 was absolutely terrifying for us, because not having it meant that we would get torn apart.
"To have met your best friend and the love of your life and have that hanging over you was very emotional, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise because we realised how much everyone around us is supporting us being together as a couple, which is crazy for us."
Lily said their quest was not yet over, with another lengthy assessment process ahead of them before final approval was given for her to stay.
In the meantime, the Yaroomba couple are founding their community-based business venture Grounded, which will offer yoga classes and mini-music festivals.
"It's going to be a really beautiful adventure and we will get to meet more wonderful people along the way," Lily said.