When 21-year-old Deanna Delmonaco and her sweetheart promised "'til death do us part," that day, sadly, was just around the corner. But friends and family made sure the dying bride got a fairy tale wedding before Jesus called her home!
Doctors diagnosed Deanna Delmonaco with a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. She was only 13 years old at the time.
"This of course was devastating to our family," her mother, Kim, said.
Despite her young age, Deanna refused to let the disease keep her down. She battled through years of aggressive therapies and surgeries. All the while, she kept up with school, a part-time job, and life as a teenager.
"She has undergone many lung surgeries to remove any tumors at time of relapse," Kim recalled online, "lung resections and removal of her lower left lobe, radiation treatments on both lungs and also to her trachea, all while maintaining passing grades in high school, graduating with her class and working at Hot Topic."
Through it all, Deanna remained positive and upbeat. She inspired and encouraged nearly everyone she met. It's probably one of reasons Grayson Pedro fell in love with her.
And by 21, doctors said there was nothing left they could do. A week later, Grayson proposed. Though doctors estimated Deanna only had a matter of months left to live, Grayson said he'd be honored to call her his wife for as long as they had.
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Deanna and Grayson shared a passion for Disney movies and theme parks. And the way Deanna faced each challenge with such positivity made her so similar to the Disney characters she loved. With little time left, friends and family banded together to make sure the dying bride got a fairy tale wedding worthy of a Disney princess.
Dying Bride Got A Fairy Tale Wedding
In a short period of time, loved ones pulled together a bridal shower and a bachelorette party for Deanna. They wanted to make sure she experienced all the joys of the typical bride.
And then, everyone gathered together for an absolutely beautiful ceremony. Grayson wheeled his bride-to-be down the aisle in a wheelchair, and the presiding minister greeting everyone, saying:
"Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale. A tale as old as time."
WATCH: Dying Bride Got A Fairy Tale Wedding Just Before Passing
The joyous day was truly a dream come true for Deanna, and a beautiful send off for her, as she went home to be with the Lord just a couple of weeks later. And while those she left behind wish they had more time with her, the sweet young woman made a big impact on all she met.
"Deanna will always be an inspiration to me to keep going forward with my dreams no matter what life throws at me. She taught me that you can either feel sorry for yourself or you can try to make the best of the situation you were given," said her former college roommate.
And at Deanna's memorial, her mother spoke of the beautiful legacy her daughter left behind, of being good to people and staying positive.
"In her short life, she touched many people, and left a mark on us all," Kim said. "Deanna lived her life by the motto that she had tattooed on her arm. That said ‘I Refuse to Sink’, and that she did. Until she chose to fly, on her own terms."
And now that she's found healing in Heaven, God continues to use Deanna's memory to comfort and inspire.
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