'I got my wish': Winnipeg bride-to-be to receive free wedding gown survived addiction, sexual assault

A Winnipeg bride-to-be said she still feels like she's living a dream after learning she'll receive a free designer wedding dress.

Jasmine Doolan, 29, says she'll marry the love of her life next June

Jasmine Doolan, 29, is the recipient of a free designer wedding gown. (Julianne Runne/CBC)

A Winnipeg bride-to-be said she still feels like she's living a dream after learning she'll receive a free designer wedding dress.

"I can't believe it," said Jasmine Doolan, 29. "I cried so hard." 

​Doolan survived a sexual assault when she was 17 that left her traumatized and sent her into an 11-year battle with a meth addiction.

She's been sober for 19 months and has a 10-month-old daughter. Next summer, she's set to marry the man she says is the love of her life, but they're trying to keep wedding costs low so they can purchase a home together.
Hannah Pratt gave away this designer wedding dress after her wedding was called off. (Kijiji)

"At first I wanted a really expensive dress and I said, I can't afford that. … I was just going to get a dress that I could wear again. I don't really want that," Doolan said.

"I want a beautiful gown that I'm going to rock and that I'm going to look great in photos in. So I got my wish."

Hannah Pratt posted her unworn Tara Keely dress on Kijiji for free after buying it on sale for $1,300 — about half of its original price, Pratt told CBC News last week.

Pratt asked brides to submit some information about themselves and then selected Doolan from dozens of submissions.

"She's such an amazing soul," Doolan said Monday. "It's the exact dress that I've been looking at. It was meant to be." 

'Never give up'

Doolan met her fiance in February 2015 and said she knew "almost instantly" she wanted to spend her life with him.

"I just told him my story right off the bat of everything I'd been through, and his reaction was, 'OK, well, what can I do to help?'" Doolan said. "I'd never met a guy who actually wanted to be part of the mess that I was living."

Doolan started using meth after she was sexually assaulted, trying to avoid dealing with the trauma she'd experienced.

Last February, she stopped using for good. A week later she found out she was pregnant and she hasn't used drugs since.

Her message to others hoping to leave substance abuse behind them is to keep fighting.

"Never give up," she said. "…You have to fight. That's the only advice I can really give. It's just, fight, and you have to fight really hard."

With files from Kim Kaschor