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.
Within four days, Keane and Carstens’ dying wish for a dream wedding and honeymoon at Disney hadn’t just been realized — in addition to the goal of $20,000, the campaign raised a lot more money, in excess of $60,000. Morgan says:
“We have wanted to do this for a long time and we’ve talked about it for a really long time … It’s amazing that we get to see our friends and family and be together.”
The pair have not gone on their honeymoon yet, but it is planned for the end of March.