Terminally Ill Man Marries Love of His Life With Weeks to Live
Lifestyle| | By Brian Delpozo
A terminally ill man married the love of his life even though he had only weeks to live.
Nashville couple Chris Ford, 26, and Nicole Wismer, 22, were scheduled to be married in October. However, doctors told the couple that Ford, who has been suffering from squamous cell carcinoma (cancer) of the mouth and throat since last year, that he most likely won’t live that long.
According to Ford’s mother Amy, this turn was unexpected, as her son had initially been given an 80 precent chance of survival when diagnosed last year. However, she explained that his disease worsened quickly, saying, “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.”
Once the couple processed the news, they decided it was “now or never” and that they had to tie the knot before it was too late. Wismer expanded on their thought process, saying, “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).”
Mounting medical bills initially left the couple with little money for a wedding, however volunteers from the Nashville Chive organization and other local groups and individuals pledged to help. “People we never even knew contacted us. 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?’” Ford’s mother said.
The wedding, with donated flowers, meals, cake, and other items, went on. Though Ford was on oxygen and unable to speak or stand for long periods, he was able to walk down the aisle thanks to help from his father Bob, who lauded his son’s courage.
“His spirits are very good because he’s got a lot of support,” said Bob. “His heart is like a rock. I’ve never seen anybody as strong as he’s been, and his will to live. He’s been fighting to live for his family. He’s been through a lot with the cancer.”
Despite his physical struggles, the happy couple was overjoyed with the result, even dancing a bit as they walked back down the aisle.