A Florida teen had one dying wish when he was diagnosed with a fatal form of cancer: marry his high school sweetheart.
Last Wednesday, he did just that.
Dustin Snyder and Sierra Siverio were married last week, according to CBS affiliate WTSP.
"Sierra means the world to me. Everything,” Snyder told WTSP. “Can’t even describe it in words."
The story drew national and international headlines from BBC, People magazine and USA Today, among many others.
The couple dated in middle school but lost touch somewhere along the way. They dated again in high school as seniors.
CBS News reported that Snyder found out he had synovial sarcoma cancer the day before he turned 18. The is slow-growing cancer that can be misdiagnosed as arthritis, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can develop in the knees, lungs and kidneys.
He unsuccessfully tried chemotherapy and radiation treatments. He went in for surgery and doctors told him the cancer was gone, but the cancer came back several weeks ago. Doctors said he only had weeks to live.
“We weren’t expecting it this fast,” Snyder’s mother, Cassandra Fondahn, told The Washington Post, “so it was very emotional, very hard to take. He’s a very, very strong young man. He’s a fighter, and he has this whole time been fighting through all of it.”
Fondahn said that Siverio has been by Snyder’s side throughout the entire length of the cancer. Snyder agreed.
“I love her. She’s been there for me through this whole process,” Snyder told The Post.
Snyder and Siverio talked privately about the idea of marriage last week. Snyder proposed to Siverio last Thursday, taking her to dinner and then popping the question, according to The Washington Post.
“As a mom, I want him to be happy during his final days — whatever that is that makes him happy,” Fondahn told The Post. “I don’t think this will change anything dramatically for either one of them; it’s just going to make both of them happy. And that’s what it’s all about.”
The wedding was planned over a few days and was paid for thanks to donations, according to CBS.
The couple said they faced questions about their marriage, given that there's a time expiration on it, but they aren't budging.
"If two people love each other and they want to be together for the rest of their lives, why can't they be?" Siverio told WTSP.