Through the generosity of the internet, one couple’s dying wish for a dream wedding and Disney World honeymoon was made possible — and the outpouring of donations the fulfill their hopes far outstripped what they set out to accomplish.
Nolan Keane, 28, and Morgan Carstens, 26, were high school sweethearts — and the couple dreamed of a Disney honeymoon. But a few years back, Keane was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of brain cancer and given just a year to live.
It was 2008 when Keane was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme, and Carstens (a registered nurse) put her career aside to care for her ailing boyfriend, moving into his family home.
“I didn’t think twice about it. I knew he needed me and I would kind of feel guilty taking care of others. We just take it day by day and we make it work … You get put in a situation and you do what you have to do.”
Keane made it through the next few years, and the couple’s dying wish was precipitated during a trip to Disney last November. Carstens was shocked when Keane got out of his wheelchair to get down on one knee and propose to her, and she recalls:
“We went to go see the fireworks. Since there was so much walking, he told me, ‘My back is really hurting. Can you get me out the wheelchair?’ And then [he] got down on one knee and I forgot to say yes. I think he kind of knew by my response.”
But Keane’s cancer had spread, and the Disney dream became the couple’s dying wish. With a $20,000 price tag and a short timeframe to pull it off, it was daunting — but friends and family used Facebook and GiveForward.com to see if they couldn’t make the dream wedding a reality.