NORTH HILLS (CBSLA.com) — A month after receiving a diagnosis of a rare form of breast cancer, 29-year-old Jennifer Gargano was married on Sunday in a wedding made possible by the generosity of strangers.
Gargano’s husband Brian proposed on Valentine’s Day, and the couple originally planned to wed in August. But after a diagnosis of angiosarcoma of the breast one month later, they decided not to wait.
“We didn’t know what my treatment would do,” Gargano told CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen on Tuesday.
“I wanted to present myself to my family and friends in a great way. So I didn’t want them to remember me as someone who was sick.”
Brian enlisted Elysia Skye, a wedding officiant they found on the website Yelp, to perform the ceremony. Little did they know that Skye was herself a breast cancer survivor, who took to Facebook asking everyone she knew to help donate to the big day.
Wedding planner Laura Guerrie was touched by a photograph of Gargano in a hospital bed receiving treatment.
“Her personality really just bubbles right through the picture,” said Guerrie. After reading the story, “all you can think of is how can you help,” she said.
Yamashiro Restaurant provided a location for the ceremony, with a photographer, wedding cake, and reception venue among the donations. Nigel Beauty Emporium supplied a wig to cover the effects of chemotherapy. The entire wedding came together in 10 days.
“I want to put it out there that if you have a dream, I want you to go for it,” said Gargano. “Don’t let an illness or some bad news stop you.”