Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cancer-stricken man dies 36 hours after wedding

Got your tissues ready?

He couldn't beat cancer, but he beat the clock. A Thomasville man stricken with testicular cancer died early Monday, just two days after marrying his girlfriend.

Anthony Mohney married Danielle Starr on Saturday, in a wedding ceremony put together with the help of Davidson County Hospice in just four days. Mohney had recently found out he had only a short time to live, and his dying wish was to marry his longtime girlfriend and the woman he loved.

"It all came together and it was wonderful," Anthony's mother, Michelle, said Monday. "It's what he wanted, what he wanted to do for Danielle."

Now, leftover cake, donated flowers and floor full of wedding gifts serve as reminders of a wish-come-true.

"Just him, holding my hand and telling me he loves me," Danielle said, tears filling her eyes. "I think that's what I will remember the most."

"Someone said there wasn't a dry eye in the house, but it was all tears of happiness," said Michelle.

Just under 36 hours later, the tears of sadness came. Anthony lost his battle with cancer.

"I kinda prepared for it, but I don't think it's completely set in yet," said Danielle.

"To know that he truly was holding on as long as he could and believing for that miracle along with us. It's going to be very different around here without Anthony," said Michelle.

But the two most important women in Anthony's life still have each other and the amazing support from others to help them through their grief.

They'll forever cherish an original signed photograph by the entire 2009 National Champion UNC Chapel Hill basketball team that came with a letter from coach Roy Williams. For Anthony, a diehard Tar Heels fan, the letter and photograph was a treasured gift, but more treasured was spending his final moments with the woman he loved.

"I always told him that I would rather be married to him for a day than never be married to him at all," said Danielle. "Just getting to see that happen means more to me than I will ever know."

I...I have something in my eye.


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