I had this wedding feature submitted to me a while back and like I do with any wedding I’m interested in featuring, I sent the photographer a copy of my “Veteran Bride” questionnaire for the bride to complete.
Often times, it takes a while for the photographer/bride to get back to me. So I follow up and generally say, “Where the hell is my questionnaire?” OK, I’m lying. I’m more polite than that. I just follow up and find out what’s going on.
I loved the look of this destination wedding and couldn’t wait to find out how the bride managed the Gandia, Spain, wedding from her home in Orlando, Florida.
I received an email from the photographer with news that the bride had passed away from Stage IV breast cancer.
The photographer shared her Facebook page story with me and I read a few of her online obituaries to find out her story. It’s one that makes me mad (mammograms only being covered by insurance after the age of 40, Erin was 34 when she died), sad ( a young life that ended much, much too soon) and inspired (Erin’s strength in her battle against cancer).
If you can get through her Facebook story (she was pregnant when she was first diagnosed) and her obituary with a dry eye, you’re a stronger person than I am.
I read that in lieu of flowers, the family wanted donations to be made to the YSC, Young Survivors Coalition. If you’d like to honor her young life, please donate.
I rarely ask this of my readers, but those of you who blog, tweet or on Facebook, I’d love for you to share this story and the link to the Young Survivors Coalition.
Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the premier global organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. YSC offers resources, connections and outreach so women feel supported, empowered and hopeful.
And ladies, the one thing I want us all to take away from this? If something feels wrong in your body? PAY ATTENTION. Pay for that extra office visit. Ask the questions. Demand answers. Get a second opinion, or third, or fourth if you must. Trust your gut. Self exam. As someone whose OB/GYN found a lump (it was nothing), I quickly realized how careless my self-examinations had been. Do not be sloppy. Be thorough. Be concerned. Protect yourself.
So, enough with the sad. Time for the happy. At the time of her wedding in May 2010, Erin was cancer free, living in remission.
Her wedding was held at the Borgia Palace in Gandia, Spain. Her bridal portraits taken at Xativa Castle. I’m including some causal pictures of the couple in Spain before the start of the celebration, just ‘cuz they are so darn cute.
Photographer: Andrew Morrel Photography
Welcome to the Unfake Wedding of Erin & Adam!
Erin lost her life to breast cancer on October 17, 2011.
In memory of Erin Pianko Howarth.