dying bride

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I guess today is an official “feels” day, because this next story is like something out of a Nicholas Sparks book (you know, if they weren’t terrible). Thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation, 18-year-old Leslie Rivera was able to marry her high school sweetheart in a touching ceremony, after months of battling an aggressive form of leukemia.

Leslie, from Murrieta, California, was diagnosed with leukemia back in April, and the diagnosis is grim. When she was referred to the Make-A-Wish foundation, the only thing she wanted to do was marry her boyfriend, Daniel Mendez, before dying, which they made happen this past Thursday.

The couple’s love story is also like something out of a novel. The two met in an anti-racism group at their school last October, and have been attached at the hip ever since. After they graduated from school back in April, Leslie was forced to spend the majority of her time at the hospital, undergoing treatments for her cancer. Daniel stayed by her side through everything, and the two spend a good deal of time watching the show My Fair Wedding, who Make-A-Wish reached out to for her wedding.

David Tutera, from My Fair Wedding, quickly got on board and a number of vendors were also willing to help, and together they put together a beautiful ceremony for the couple. According Make-A-Wish representative, Sarah Pizzaruso:

“Watching Leslie absolutely radiate in front of her guests, greeting people with a smile, staring so lovingly at her new husband as they toasted the crowd – you would have never known the challenges she is going through. And watching Daniel care for her, assisting her walking, holding her hands during the vows – there is no question these two are meant to be together.”

I’m not usually a huge fan of weddings (they’re beautiful, just not my cup of tea), but I was truly touched by this story. I think every parent (even ones who don’t typically like the whole “white wedding” thing) at least considers the day that their daughters might get married, and I’m happy that this family was able to realize that dream before Leslie passes away. Leslie is currently in hospice, according to the Make-A-Wish website.