A terminally ill cancer patient from Nashville, Tennessee, married the love of his life when he had just weeks to live.
Chris Ford, 26, had a single dying wish: to marry sweetheart Nicole Wismer, 22. The pair planned to tie the knot in October, but doctors said Ford may not be alive that long.
The wedding was held Aug. 28 at a donated venue in east Nashville, according to the Daily News Journal.
"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]," said Nicole Ford after the wedding.
Chris had been battling cancer for nearly a year and was given an 80 percent chance of survival, reports KUSA. 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," said Amy Ford, Chris’ mother.
Nicole told Chris it was "now or never" if they were going to get married.
But massive medical bills left the pair with little money for a wedding. That’s when nonprofit Nashville Chive swooped in with a mass of volunteers to help the couple with their dream wedding.
"People we never even knew contacted us," said a very emotional Amy. "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 came down 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 gown.
Chris was unable to stand for long periods and had to wear an oxygen mask as he waited for his bride. He 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. Since his 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.
"She's his heart," said Kevin Hicks, who interpreted Chris' sign language as the couple sat on the couch after the ceremony. "Their love is pure and true and perfect."