Not even terminal cancer could keep a Philadelphia couple from celebrating their love at a dream wedding in Center City Philadelphia on Sunday.
Lonnie Brown and Karen Frager first met 16 years ago when they lived in the same neighborhood. They reconnected in 2010, became close, and became a couple in 2012. After a few months, the pair were engaged.
Then their whole world changed.
Lonnie was diagnosed in June, 2014 with stage-four colon cancer.
"When they first told me that I thought I was too young to be dealing with that," Lonnie said. "As soon as that doctor said it, it was like, 'bam!' I got hit by a truck. My ear was just ringing and I couldn't hear nothing else. It was very shocking."
Since his diagnosis he's had several surgeries and hospital stays, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
"It went from chemotherapy to heart problems to kidney problems," he said. "It's been one thing after another."
Through it all, Karen stayed by his side.
"It's breaking me down but she's holding me up," Lonnie said. "I don't know what I would've done without her."
Cancer couldn't stop the couple from committing to each other. On Sunday morning, Wish Upon a Wedding's Philadelphia chapter threw Lonnie and Karen a wedding at Top of the Tower, on the 51st floor of 1717 Arch Street.
Among family and friends, including Lonnie's son and Karen's two children, the couple said their vows. While Lonnie's future is uncertain he takes solace in the fact that the love and support of his wife will remain constant through it all.
"To have that person to lean on and cry on and talk to just makes it so much more beautiful," he said. "It makes me stronger to have that. Without that I don't know what I would've done."