In case you were looking for a reason to cry this Monday, allow us to introduce you to Dustin Snyder. Dustin is 19-years-old and has been devastatingly diagnosed with terminal cancer. With just weeks left to live according to doctors, Dustin made a dying wish that has since come true: He tied the knot with his high school sweetheart, Sierra Siverio.
According to PEOPLE magazine, Sierra and Dustin first began dating in middle school, but the schoolyard romance soon waned as they tend to do. But obviously, this IRL A Walk to Remember couple was meant to be. “They got back together two years ago before his diagnosis,” family friend Nicole Jordan Roberts told PEOPLE. “Dustin knew that she was the one for him.”
Just one day before Dustin's 18th birthday, he was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Although later being declared in remission, the cancer soon returned. “They told him he had just a few weeks and that there was nothing they could do,” explained Roberts. “His mom told me she wanted to do as much as she could with him in the little time he had. She wants him to experience as much as he can.” And what Dustin wished to experience was marrying his love, Sierra.
Sierra and Dustin said their I dos last week in a heartbreakingly beautiful wedding attended by their family and friends—and an entire community that came together to help make Dustin's dream a reality. “It started off with a Facebook post where Dustin’s sister asked if anyone had a tux and wedding dress,” Roberts explained to PEOPLE. “They were going to do it in their backyard and we were all going to bring food.” But when people got wind of the whirlwind wedding, the groom, his bride, and their families were offered everything from venues and flowers to wedding dresses.
Over $40,000 was raised for the big day via a GoFundMe page Dustin's sister created. “He really wants to marry the woman that has stuck by his side through all the sleepless night and is now dealing with knowing he will pass any time soon,” she wrote. And thanks to the community's generous donations, an entire wedding with all the trimmings was put together in just a matter of days.
Despite his painful aliments and being in hospice care, the groom stood for the ceremony and even danced to Ed Sheeran's "Perfect" with his bride. “It was amazing and just so beautiful,” said Roberts, “but obviously very emotional.”
“He was so strong on Sunday,” she added. “We wanted to make this the best day for the two of them—and it really was.”