It happens all the time at Disney, but in real life when “dreams do come true” it makes it all that more special. And that is the story of Nolan Keane and Morgan Cartens of Kewanee, IL.
Sweethearts since high school, the couple were dealt a devastating blow when Nolan Keane, a 28 year old Missouri State University Grad and former division-1 baseball player was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastomo multiforme, an aggressive type of brain cancer, four years ago. He was told by his doctors he had one year to live.
Instead of giving up, Nolan has fought his disease with Morgan at his side. He has undergone eight brain surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy and trial treatments and has been fighting his cancer for almost four full years longer that doctors had given him to live. Morgan, a 26 year old nurse, put her work on hold and moved in with Nolan’s family to help take care of him.
“I didn’t think twice about it. I knew he needed me and I would kind of feel guilty taking care of others,” she said. “We just take it day by day and we make it work. … You get put in a situation and you do what you have to do.”
More after the jump…
While on a family trip to Walt Disney World this past November, Nolan got out of his wheelchair, got down on one knee and asked surprised Morgan asking her to marry him. You see, recent MRI results had shown that Nolan’s cancer had spread and he had months left to live. So Nolan told his family and close friends that his final wishes were to marry Morgan and take a dream honeymoon back to the place he proposed – Walt Disney World.
“He just loves that place and has gone every year growing up,” Morgan said. “He’s a little kid at heart and when he goes it brings back so many good memories. [It is] a place to forget about all the bad things and enjoy every single moment.”
Morgan’s sisters Jaclyn and Lindsey knew the financial challenges the couple and their family faced in pulling off a “dream wedding”. So they set out to raise money and awareness on Facebook. In February they also set up a fundraising page on giveforward.com. The story went viral and in four days strangers had contributed $60,000 – tripling the initial goal of $20,000.
So on March 9th, Nolan got his wish as he and his fiancée were married in Peoria, surrounded by their family and close friends. Surpassing the monetary donations, local wedding businesses donated everything for their wedding including photography, food and hair and makeup.
The happy couple plans to take their dream honeymoon to Walt Disney World at the end of March. The rest of the proceeds from the donations will be put towards medical bills and modifying Nolan’s parents’ home so it is more accessible and wheelchair friendly for him.
As of the writing of this post more than $71,000 has been donated to Nolan and Morgan on their giveforward.com page.
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