On January 11, 2005, glowing 21-year-old bride Katie Kirkpatrick married her finance Nick Godwin in a beautiful wedding ceremony in Michigan. But this wasn’t just any ordinary wedding — Kirkpatrick was suffering from terminal cancer at the time. Sadly, she died just five days later.

Despite her serious illness, Kirkpatrick planned every aspect of the wedding and used medication to control her pain during the nuptials. She also relied heavily on a wheelchair and oxygen tank, and took frequent breaks during the reception when the pain became too much. In fact, Kirkpatrick’s cancer had become so aggressive that she even needed her dress refitted several times due to constant weight loss.

Godwin, Kirkpatrick’s high school sweetheart, described the wedding as “wonderful” and a “dream come true.” And he called his bride “the most beautiful angel ever.” “She was always smiling no matter what happened, no matter what news she got. She was as close to perfect as they come,” he said.

Katie’s Spa & Boutique, a business which specializes in cancer care products, has been named in memory of Kirkpatrick. Katie’s Wings, a non-profit organization which provides assistance to cancer patients and their caregivers, likewise honors the brave and beautiful bride.

Have a look at the heartbreaking (yet wonderful) wedding ceremony via these photos, which recently began resurfacing on Facebook.




[via Facebook]