Rhonda White was waiting for the right moment to marry her boyfriend of three years, but when she learned that her time in this world was going to be cut short abruptly, she popped the question.
The 50-year-old factory worker from Ionia, Michigan, received the devastating news that she had a brain tumor and melanoma back in September, and despite a brave fight, by November she knew she wasn’t going to make it.
As People reported, White woke up one day in September with an unbearable headache. She was rushed to the hospital, where, following two MRIs, she had to undergo an emergency brain surgery to have her tumor removed.
But cancer had spread to different organs of White’s body, with lesions on her lung and liver, among other problems, and doctors didn’t give her much hope. Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa
On the first week of November, doctors had to deliver the painful news to White and her family that she probably wasn’t going to make it to Thanksgiving Day.
According to her immediate family, White’s condition had deteriorated to a point where she slipped in and out of consciousness. This lasted for several days until she suddenly woke up with a heartbreaking request.
Despite knowing that there is no way to get back the time we lost, White wanted to fulfill one last wish before her time was up, and she proposed her boyfriend Brian Parkhouse from her hospital bed.
“She was in and out of it last Monday and she got on some medicine and woke up Tuesday, and she saw Brian and they were talking. She was like, ‘Baby, will you marry me?’ It was awesome and fantastic, and everyone in the room was excited. We weren’t expecting that at all.”
-Jordan White, People, November 19, 2018.
The workers at the Supportive Care Unit of Spectrum Health’s Fuller campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was very supportive of White, and it took them just 24 hours to organize the last-minute wedding.
“They were so excited — they got the cake for us, they brought a chaplain, a harpist, and a guitarist,” Rhonda’s 23-year-old daughter Jordan told the news outlet.
Rhonda’s older daughter Brieannah, 25, was so moved by her mother’s romantic decision that she used the opportunity to get married to her boyfriend of eight years at the same time than Rhonda, in a double wedding.
“Since this all happened so fast, I couldn’t stand the idea that she wouldn’t be able to see my wedding,” Brieannah shared.
On November 15, 40 friends and relatives showed up at the family lounge where an “aisle” had been improvised for the two couples to exchange vows in an emotional ceremony on which everybody tried to stay in high spirits.
“It was probably one of the coolest services. It was truly a beautiful wedding. The chaplain really took the time to know us and there were some inside family jokes and my mom was really impatient, she shoved the ring on her finger,” Jordan said.
Two days after the special moment this family created to treasure for the rest of their lives, Rhonda passed away, leaving her family sad but proud of her for the way she stayed positive until her last breath.
[We] don’t want people to feel sorry for our situation. She fought it every single day. We want them to be happy that she got to get married,” Brieannah said.
A woman from Goose Creek, South Carolina, had a similar experience after being diagnosed with terminal cancer when she was 39 years old.
Just like Rhonda, when Kizzie Priestly knew that she had only days to live she decided to rush her wedding to boyfriend David Hall, originally planned for October 30, and with the help of the hospital staffers, she had everything ready for the ceremony in just two days.
Priestly and Hall got married at the Trident Medical Center thanks to a community effort that had several business owners and strangers donating money to give them the best wedding possible.
“We are all deeply saddened, but Kizzie’s faith and strength inspired us all and we will continue to lean on faith, family, and friends to help David and the children into the future. Thank you all for sharing this love story which has touched so many,” Priestly’s friend Kristin Power told 4News on behalf of the family after she passed away.
In another tragic episode, a 29-year-old mother decided to put her own life behind in order to become a mother.
Gemma Nuttall, from Helmshore, England, died after she fought several types of cancer for years, leaving behind a 4-year-old daughter and a devastated mother who did everything in her hands to save her.
Nuttal was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014 when she was 16 weeks pregnant with her first child, and she had a very difficult decision to make.
In order to have her malignant tumor in Nuttall’s ovary, the doctors explained to her that she was going to interrupt her pregnancy, but her decision was to postpone the intervention and the chemotherapy until she delivered her baby.
Thanks to her decision, Nuttall could save her baby’s life and enjoy four years with her before she lost he battle with this terrible illness that has claimed so many lives.