PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A man with only weeks to live decides to make his love eternal.
Ralph and Heather Smith were both diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. But that did not stop them from taking their wedding vows and saying ‘I do’ yesterday.
Heather and Ralph never dreamed that at just 41 and 42 years old they would be battling cancer, but when they found each other they vowed to fight the battle together.
“They say when you meet the right one, you’ll know,” Heather explained. “And I at this point in my life was like ‘yeah right’, and it’s true, absolutely.”
Ralph was diagnosed with stage four brain, bone, lung, and melanoma cancer in February, and given a year to live.
His new bride Heather was diagnosed with a rare form of T-cell lymphoma in July.
“The lymphatic system attacks your skin,” Heather said. “It’s basically seeing that as your enemy.”
Her cancer is incurable but treatable.
Ralph’s condition however has deteriorated, leaving him with just weeks to live.
“I would lie down and go to sleep and she’ll notice I’ve quit breathing, so I know eventually I’m going to lay down and not come back,” Ralph explained.
A scary situation that actually happened while our reporter was there.
His new wife was able to bring him out of it, but Heather says she worries every day that he will stop breathing, for good.
The two met in November after weeks of talking on the phone and instantly fell in love, so they decided to make their love official and get married.
“That was the best moment ever,” Ralph said. “You couldn’t, there aren’t any words that I could imagine to say”
“My heart stopped racing for a second finally, and I just felt warm and happy, and at peace,” Heather said.
And now that it is official, the two couldn’t be happier.
“I’ve got my best friend and my soul mate, and he’s got the peace and closure to know that he can heal and he can do what his body wants him to do,” Heather explained.
“Well, I got the best woman with me,” Ralph said.
While the couple stays positive, they know their time together is limited. Ralph’s family has already visited him, but he hopes to reunite with his children, who he has not seen since his diagnosis, before his time is up.