A Dream Wedding For A Teen With Cancer
When teenagers Luke Blanock (18) and Natalie Britvich (19) announced their plans to get married, it might surprise you at first to hear that their families were all for it. But it wasn’t just their parents who were on board. The entire community of Canonsburg — the small town in Pennsylvania where the couple lives — chipped in to help the high school sweethearts tie the knot. And that’s because time is of the essence for the groom, Luke, who’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Luke first found out he had Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, when he was 16 years old. The young man faced the terrifying disease with unbelievable courage. Despite undergoing 24 rounds of chemo, over 100 radiation treatments and 2 surgeries, he never let it slow him down.
“I’m a cancer patient when I have to be, and when I’m not I play baseball,” he explained.
And he wasn’t joking. Between treatments, Luke remained active in school sports and the community rallied behind his inspirational fight with cancer.
His upbeat attitude amazed everyone, including his parents.
"As parents, we're supposed to pick him up. But he always picks us up," said his father, Kurt.
By his side throughout the whole battle has always been Natalie, Luke’s girlfriend. When he’d get down, he leaned on Natalie to help keep him strong.
Recently, the family received the devastating news that Luke’s cancer has spread and is terminal. And Luke only continues to inspire us with his strength and bravery. Rather than succumbing to fear, Luke announced his plans to marry Natalie and make the most of the time he has left.
“I think that regardless of how tough your situation may be, you can find hope and happiness in the bleakest of situations. I’ve been dealt a pretty tough situation recently, and Natalie has done just that.. she has given me hope and she has provided me with happiness, so much so that I have made a pretty big decision. I have decided that I want to spend the rest of my life with her, regardless of how long that may be,” he wrote.
It was an announcement that Luke’s hometown rallied behind. Local vendors began reaching out immediately to wedding planner, Ashley Cyprowski, with donations — from the linens, to the flowers, to the reception hall itself — so that the sweet couple could have the wedding of their dreams.
Local photographer, Lisa Leavell Ritchey of Leavell Photography, volunteered to capture the special day, explaining:
"Luke is somewhat of a local celebrity here; everyone in the community knows him and supports him. Once you meet Luke, it's easy to why. Both families are all some of the sweetest and most inspiring people I have ever met. It was a privilege and honor to be part of a truly magical day."
And it was a beautiful affair, filled with joy and love. Everyone was in great spirits, and Ashley says it was beautiful to see the high school sweethearts have their dreams come true. She recalls that their first dance was especially touching.
"Just seeing the way the two of them looked at one another and how each was just absolutely glowing made the day very real. You could see the love between them, and that is what this day was all about."
And it wasn’t until later that it dawned on Ashley just how powerful the day truly was given Luke’s grim diagnosis.
"I didn't realize until the day had ended, but not once was there mention of an illness," she recalls. "This day was solely about the love between two incredible individuals – a love that has gone through unimaginable obstacles to get to that day."
The happy couple spent their honeymoon in Florida, where they and both of their families were invited to spend a day the MLB Pittsburg Pirate’s training camp — a treat for Luke who is a huge baseball fan.
Luke’s family continues to ask for prayers, and we will certainly be lifting Luke up in prayer for a miracle. Congratulations to this amazing couple!
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their work. And if one has a fall, the other will give him a hand; but unhappy is the man who is by himself, because he has no helper.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
See who this bride chose to be a very special bridesmaid!
Credit: The Knot