Ronda Bivens and her longtime boyfriend Matt Mager have been an item since they were in high school, and they have 2 children together, so their marriage was just a formality at this point. But it was a small detail that meant the world to this young couple for a tragic reason.
Last February doctors found a lump on Ronda's ankle. At first they thought it was just a sprain, but they soon realized Ronda had an extremely rare form of cancer called epithelioid sarcoma.
Only 1 in 2.5 million people get this disease, and doctors had no faith that Ronda would survive, but Matt kept Ronda's hope alive with a promise that he would keep no matter what.
“I said if anything happens, we will get married somehow, someway,” he told Huffpost.
The next year was almost unbearable. Ronda had her right leg amputated and went through chemotherapy, but the cancer still spread to her lungs and even her brain.
“They said, ‘We can just do what helps.’ But everything they’ve done has just made it worse," Matt said.
"It’s financially wrecked us, and I’ve had a front row seat to my best friend dying. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s very emotional.”
After an emergency room visit last week, doctors told the couple that Ronda had just days to live. So they decided to make the most of their situation, and in a few hours they had arranged a last-minute wedding.
Click the next page to see Ronda and Matt's ceremony.