Hospital hosted wedding as bride's mother battled terminal cancer

Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-30 08:19:08-04

It's not the wedding venue she imagined, but the hospital chapel was perfect for one reason -- the bride's mother could be there.

Jenny and Luke Ward were engaged when her mother, DeAnn Ball, was diagnosed with cancer. 

"July 10 was actually our wedding date," said Ward. "My mom was diagnosed the very last day of February and we found out in May it was terminal."

But cancer couldn't stop Ball from seeing her daughter get married. The family turned months of planning into just four days. Even, the nurses at Swedish Medical Center in Colorado chipped in to help.

"She had her friends and family come to do her hair and makeup," said nurse Erin Casale. "I popped in the room to see how it was going and she was lying in the bed getting her makeup done."

The staff found a special gurney to fit through the chapel door, so Ball could watch her only daughter marry the love of her life. The nurses hosted a special reception after the ceremony.

The day after the wedding, she moved to hospice, and a couple days later, Ball died.

But amidst all the pain, the Wards say they still have so much to be thankful for. 

"We can't say enough about the nurses and the staff here," said Ward.

Their wedding picture now hangs in the break room on the oncology floor, as a reminder of the good.

"It was wonderful for us to be a part of that when normally we are strangers to them. We're just their nurses," said Casale. "To be let in on a special day, on happy memories they were creating, it was a real blessing."

The couple has talked about having children. They say they got Ball's approval for a name. But, for now, they're keeping it a secret -- just between them.

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