A Terminal Illness Never Stopped Rhonda
There was a very special wedding this past Thursday. In fact, TWO special weddings, both at Spectrum Health.
Sue Thoms wrote a very sweet and loving article in the Spectrum Health Health Beat about a terminally ill Spectrum Health patient who had a very special request. Rhonda White wanted to be married, and witness her daughter's wedding before she died. Thanks to the efforts of many people, her wish came true late last Thursday.
Snow fell thickly in a darkening sky Thursday evening, as a ceremony of light and love began on the sixth floor of the Supportive Care Unit of Spectrum Health’s Fuller campus.
Rhonda exchanged vows with the love of her life, Brian Parkhouse. And she witnessed the marriage of her 25-year-old daughter, Brieannah, to her longtime sweetheart, Jason Musser.
The past few months have been a whirlwind of change for Rhonda, a 50-year-old woman who lives in Ionia, Michigan, and works at the Ventra factory.
On Sept. 1, 2018, she learned she had melanoma and that it had spread to her brain. She underwent surgery to remove the brain tumor and received chemotherapy, said her mother, Shari Taylor.
The cancer also spread to Rhonda’s liver and lungs. Her health continued to decline.
“I was told I didn’t have much time to live,” she said.
Thirty friends and family members gathered in the lounge. In a ceremony led by chaplain Natasha Kaminisky, the couples vowed “to have and to hold … for better or for worse… in sickness and in health … until death do us part.”
They exchanged rings.
Kaminsky declared them to be “husband and wife.”
“Say it again!” Rhonda said.
“Husband and wife,” Kaminsky repeated in a louder voice as everyone laughed.
Sadly, Rhonda died today. She got her most precious wishes, though. She was married, and watched her daughter as she was married. Then, it was time to go.
To read the entire article and see more pictures of the weddings, CLICK HERE for the Spectrum Health Health Beat.