- (Photo: GiveForward/Nolan Keane)
A couple's dying wish for a dream wedding has come true thanks to the generosity os strangers.
Nolan Keane, 28, has been battling brain cancer for the past four years, and he had always dreamed of marrying his high school sweetheart in his hometown of Kewanee, Ill. However, due to his condition he was unsure whether his dream would ever come true.
In 2008, when his condition was diagnosed, he was told he would only have a year left to live. But Keane has proven doctors wrong and after eight brain surgeries, rounds of chemotherapy, and trial treatments, he has fought on now for four years.
Speaking about their wedding, his now-wife, Morgan Carstens, 26, said: "We have wanted to do this for a long time and we've talked about it for a really long time. It's amazing that we get to see our friends and family and be together," according to ABC News.
In November 2012 Keane proposed to Carstens during a family trip to Disney World. Despite his condition he got out of his wheelchair and went down on one knee to shock Carstens.
Carstens has said, "We went to go see the fireworks. Since there was so much walking, he told me, 'My back is really hurting. Can you get me out the wheelchair?' And then [he] got down on one knee and I forgot to say yes. I think he kind of knew by my response."
However, more recently he received the results of a latest MRI scan which showed that his cancer had spread, with doctors now telling him he only had months to live. He told friends and family that his dying wish was to marry his sweetheart and go on a honeymoon back to where he had proposed.
Carstens explained: "He just loves that place and has gone every year growing up. He's a little kid at heart and when he goes it brings back so many good memories. [It is] a place to forget about all the bad things and enjoy every single moment."
However, the couple faced a financial battle to make their dreams come true. Carstens had given up her nursing job when Keane had fallen sick years ago to take care of him, and it appeared as though their dream wedding would be too much for them.
But determined to make their dream come true, Keane's family started fundraising for his wedding and trip on Facebook, believing they needed about $20,000 to make the wedding and honeymoon trip a reality.
They also set up a fundraising page last month in February on a website called "GiveForward.com." Their campaign went viral and in just four days they received $60,000 from complete strangers who heard about their situation.
"We have been only asking for support, encouragement and prayers, so when all of this blew up we all had every single emotion as possible about it. It's inspiring to see so many good-hearted and caring people out there," Carstens has said, according to ABC News.
The couple finally got married in March 9 in a ceremony in Peoria, Ill, where locals donated services and items completely free of charge including a photographer, hair and make up, as well as food.
The couple are now looking forward to taking their honeymoon later in March, and have said any money leftover they will put towards Keane's medical bills.
You may visit the Give Forward donation site by clicking here.