All weddings are special and unique, but some are particularly memorable. One such wedding is the ceremony of Ronda Bivens and Matt Mager. Their relationship is inspiring, whether you have been married for years or are in the middle of planning your special day with a wedding coordinator.
A Beautiful Wedding
The couple married at the end of May, surrounded by friends and family. Ronda was diagnosed with a rare type of incurable cancer the year before but didn’t let that stop her from marrying her partner. The impromptu service was put together by friends and family in just a few hours while Ronda was in hospice. Amanda Dalton, her best friend, helped Ronda into a wedding dress and was involved in organizing the wedding. They called the county clerk’s office and a preacher and were able to pull together all the necessary pieces. The wedding took place on Ronda’s 28th birthday.
A Difficult Road
Ronda was diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma in February 2016; only 1 in 2.5 million people are affected by this rare type of cancer. Many doctors are not very familiar with this rare disease, which they weren’t even aware of until the 1970s. Because of this, the lump on Ronda’s leg was misdiagnosed by doctors in the past, like tendinitis and a torn tendon. Ronda’s leg was amputated in May 2016, but the cancer had already spread and affected her lungs. The doctors told them there wasn’t any cure and they could only try to help. Unfortunately, things got worse and worse, wrecking the couple financially in the process.
Ronda went through chemotherapy and radiation treatments, besides having her leg amputated. Matt stuck by her side through every step of the process. Her condition worsened this year in the middle of May, and she was admitted to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center intensive care unit in Nashville. There they heard the devastating news that cancer had spread again, this time to her brain. Her left lung had already stopped working, and the doctors said she only had a few days left to live.
The doctors gave them a choice: they could sedate Ronda and give her a breathing tube or Matt could take her home and try to keep her comfortable. She wanted to go home, so they choose the second option.
After getting diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma, Ronda posted a message online urging others to take a lump or bump seriously. She never thought the lump on her ankle would be cancer, and many of the doctors didn’t realize it either. But it was. So she urged everyone to go to a doctor if they find a bump, and then get second opinions.
A Special Day
Matt and Ronda had known each other since childhood and begin their relationship when they were teenagers. Their wedding day was a special time for them; that evening Ronda woke up excited about the wedding. She and Matt talked about it and looked at the pictures as they held each other, laughing and crying. They have two small children, ages 6 and 4. Matt is determined that the children will always remember their mother. Ronda passed away on June 8, surrounded by family and friends.
A Touching Story
This is a touching story of love in the midst of a devastating disease. Special moments like this are examples of the strength of love and commitment between two people. They inspire the rest of us to love better and appreciate the special people in our lives.
Preparing for Your Special Day
Hearing about relationships like this is inspiring throughout life, but particularly timely if you are planning your wedding. Planning is stressful and can be overwhelming. Hiring a wedding planner takes much of the stress out of planning so you can focus more on your relationship. This is a special time for you and your partner, one that should be enjoyed. A wedding planner can help handle the many details of planning so you can appreciate the time. Your wedding coordinator also lets you enjoy the wedding day itself as you celebrate your love and relationship with your guests.