A terminally ill cancer patient from Nashville, Tennessee, married the love of his life with just weeks left to live.
Chris Ford had a single dying wish — to marry his sweetheart Nicole Wismer. The pair planned to tie the knot in October of 2016, but doctors said Ford might not make it that long.
The wedding was ultimately held on August 28 at a donated venue in east Nashville, Daily News Journal reported.
“It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together, it doesn’t matter the circumstances — it shouldn’t matter. I love him too much [to walk away],” the bride said following the wedding.
Chris was battling cancer for nearly a year prior to the wedding and was given an 80 percent chance of survival, KUSA reported. He was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth and throat shortly after the birth of his son, Tristan.
“During the course of his treatment, his tumors continued to grow and grow. They also grew into his lungs and some of his other organs. About a month ago, he was diagnosed as terminal,” Amy Ford, Chris’ mother, said.
Nicole told Chris it was “now or never” if they were going to tie the knot. Massive medical bills, however, left the pair with little money for a wedding. That’s when nonprofit Nashville Chive swooped in with a group of volunteers to help the couple with their special day.
“People we never even knew contacted us,” an emotional Amy said. “We had DJs … photographers, videographers, people offering to cook, florists, our cakes. … the guy who owns City Liquors in LaVergne called and said: ‘What do you need?’”
Family members traveled from Philadelphia for the wedding, and a member of the Atlanta Chive sect officiated the ceremony. Custom wedding cakes, a catered meal, flowers, and other items were donated to the Fords.
The bridesmaids wore coral-colored linen sundresses, the groom and his groomsmen sported gray vests with aqua ties, and the bride wore a sequin-embroidered strapless white dress.
Chris was unable to stand for long periods, had to wear an oxygen mask as he waited for his bride, and was escorted down the aisle by his father — who kept Chris stable since he had difficulties walking.
As soon as the bride walked down the aisle, a huge smile spread across Chris’ face. Because the cancer was so advanced, he was unable to talk. His father stood up to speak for his son as the vows were exchanged.
Chris still managed to dance with Nicole despite his condition. He ultimately died on Sept. 25, 2016.