Teen With Terminal Cancer Marries His High School Sweetheart in a Tear-Jerking Wedding Ceremony
Better grab some tissues.
A few weeks ago, when 19-year-old Dustin Snyder was told by doctors that he had terminal cancer and just weeks to live, he began checking off items on his bucket list—like riding a Zamboni and meeting the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team.
Then Snyder tackled his final wish: planning a wedding and marrying his high school sweetheart, Sierra Siverio. The couple exchanged I-dos in an intimate ceremony on Sunday in a red barn outside Plant City, Florida, surrounded by family and friends.
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"We have made the most amazing memories," Siverio, 21, said as the couple recited their vows, according to Florida newspaper The Ledger. "You are truly my soul mate."
Snyder was first diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, which the National Institutes of Health describes as a "rare and aggressive" form of cancer that attacks soft tissue, in 2016 after graduating high school. Though he was given treatment, the cancer returned a second and third time.
With him the whole time was Siverio. The couple first met and briefly dated in middle school. They later reconnected their senior year of high school and have been together ever since, according to CBS affiliate WTSP. "After my first surgery when she was there for me in the hospital for 10 days straight, didn't ever leave," Synder told Fox13 News. "That's when I knew she was the one."
Snyder's sister, Brittany Hails, was instrumental in helping the couple pull off planning an event that usually takes months to manage. Hails posted requests for a tuxedo and other items on Facebook. Within five days, a GoFundMe account started by Hails had over $39,000. Everything from the dress to the venue was gifted in support of the groom- and bride-to-be.
"It' been amazing to see people in the community coming together and helping me out and supporting my family after everything we've been through," Snyder told the Tampa Bay Times.
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Siverio shared similar sentiments, and had a positive outlook on the emotional day and the couple's future together. "Like I tell Dustin, no matter what, it's not the end," she told the Tampa Bay Times. "I feel like this is the beginning."