Rockford hospice puts on wedding for Navy veteran with terminal cancer

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When a Rockford Navy veteran discovered he had brain cancer, he wanted to share as much of the time he has left with the love of his life. Tuesday, the staff at Heartland Hospice put on a wedding to make that dream come true.

Chris Stroud’s nurse, Teresa White, said, “As I was sitting there, talking to him, he knew something was very wrong. He looked at me and said, ‘the one thing I want to do is marry Gina,’ so we made it happen.”

Chris Stroud met his now wife Gina on a trip six years ago. Two years ago he asked her to be his wife.

“I didn’t even expect it, you know? Love finds you when you least expect it,” Gina said.

Tuesday, at a wedding ceremony at the Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens, at 1354 N 2nd Street, the pair of Navy veterans tied the knot.

Everything was donated to the couple to make the moment happen, from the flowers to the wedding rings.

The staff at Heartland Hospice managed to pull the entire event together in three weeks, after Chris fell ill from brain cancer.

“I see everything in there,” Gina said before the wedding. “It’s beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. I’m so blessed. Absolutely blessed, today, and very grateful. Very grateful. It’s just going to be an amazing day.”

“We picked the color purple…for the theme, with the double heart,” she said. “Our nurse, she chose that and we love it. It’s beautiful. It’s like two hearts that connect.”

“I’m nervous,” Chris said. “I’m happy, very happy. I love this woman, more than you can believe. It’s remarkable. It would be hard to get through these tough times, with my medical history, without her. She’s just amazing.”

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