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She was given months to live, then given a dream wedding

ProMedica Hospice organized a beach wedding at Maumee Bay State Park
Gary Arps, a retired Marine Sergeant, uses a sword to cut his wedding cake, which was donated by Wixey's Bakery.
Gary Arps, a retired Marine Sergeant, uses a sword to cut his wedding cake, which was donated by Wixey's Bakery.(ProMedica | ProMedica Hospice)
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 9:43 PM EDT
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OREGON, Ohio (WTVG) - Doctors gave her a few months to live. So, the staff at ProMedica Hospice gave her something more -- a dream wedding.

Beth and Gary got married on the groom's 48th birthday, June 20, 2020.
Beth and Gary got married on the groom's 48th birthday, June 20, 2020.(ProMedica | ProMedica Hospice)

In February 2020, doctors told Beth Arps, 47, she had a mass in her pelvic area. More than seven years after Beth thought she had beaten skin cancer, which was detected and removed in 2012, the melanoma had spread. The cancer was now Stage 4.

By May of 2020, Beth was put under the care of ProMedica Hospice, where they did something they had never done. They threw a wedding for Beth and Gary.

Newlyweds Gary and Beth Arps celebrate their nuptials.
Newlyweds Gary and Beth Arps celebrate their nuptials.(Beth Arps | Beth Arps)

“The whole team jumped on, " said Tim Strachan, Volunteer Coordinator with ProMedica Hospice. “There were nurses and aides and social workers, and we all came together to put this thing on for her.”

You may kiss the bride.
You may kiss the bride.(Beth Arps | Beth Arps)

The team put up decorations and flowers, and the ProMedica Hospice foundation paid for the catering. Wixey’s Bakery donated a cake, a photographer donated time and talent, and Maumee Bay State Park Lodge gave the newlywed couple a presidential suite.

Since that big day, June 20, Beth says she’s been feeling stronger and her tumor is shrinking thanks to immunotherapy. June 20 was also Gary’s 48th birthday.

“She asked me if she wanted our anniversary associated with my birthday because she told me, ‘Inevitably, I’m not going to be around, and I don’t want you to think about your birthday.’ And I’m like, ‘You know what, the best present you can give me is getting married on my birthday,’” said Gary, who is a retired Marine Sergeant.

The Arps got married in front of roughly 50 friends, relatives, and workers with ProMedica Hospice.
The Arps got married in front of roughly 50 friends, relatives, and workers with ProMedica Hospice.(ProMedica Hospice | ProMedica Hospice)

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