cancer, undying love and a wedding

I was cleaning up my email inbox when I came across this old heart-wrenching email. On the right bed is Katie Kirkpatrick, she is sick with terminal cancer but that didn't stop her from pursuing to live her life to the fullest. Aside from taking part in cancer survivor Lance Armstrong's "Ride for the Roses" cancer fundraiser, Katie also had her dream wedding (with the man on the left bed in the picture above) days before she died. Here's her haunting wedding photos taken by Romain Blanquart:

Five days after their wedding, Katie died. She was just 21 years old :( For me, there are 2 lessons to her story: one, from a medical point of view (pardon, I'm a doctor, hehe) ~ always be aware of your body. Cancer symptoms are a dime a dozen. Sample symptoms of mesothelioma (a rare cancer) includes persistent dry or raspy cough (typically there is little or no phlegm), coughing up blood, difficulty in swallowing, night sweats or fever, unexplained weight loss of 10 percent or more, fatigue and more. Sounds like you just have a serious respiratory tract problem right? Not at all a deadly cancer.. That's why it pays to watch out for your health.

Second lesson, from a more personal POV: life is short, make the most out of it. Life with cancer is even shorter, do everything you can with the time you have! Sure, you might die in a few months, weeks, or even days ~ but that shouldn't prevent you from loving someone, from committing yourself to The One, from having fun in your dream wedding. As Katie's husband, Nick, said about Katie and their wedding:

"It was wonderful. It was a dream come true. She was the most beautiful angel ever - just caring and selfless ... She had a lovely wedding, and she had love and she gave love, and love doesn't die. And that is how Katie beat cancer."


posted by Melissa Solito on 10:29 AM under ,