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Countless acts of kindness allow parents with terminal cancer to attend Sooke woman's wedding

Langford, B.C. -

When Shannon Alce said yes to Clayton Taylor’s proposal, she never could have imagined how challenging it would be to say "I do."

“It was just going to be a tiny thing,” Shannon says of their original wedding plans. “Because we didn’t really have any money.”

But then her mom Linda and her dad Bob were both diagnosed with terminal cancer, and Shannon had to suddenly race to arrange a wedding before it was too late.

“I just wanted (my parents) to be able to see it,” Shannon says.

So they decided to sign a marriage license at home, followed by a dinner out.

“We hired a commissioner and that was kind of it.”

Until a series of unexpected events that began with her colleagues at the elementary school where Shannon works enlisting the students to write books full of marriage advice.

“‘Take turns doing the dishes’ and ‘Don’t drink out of the milk carton,’” Shannon says, reading some of the countless hand-written words of wisdom that were accompanied by colourful drawings of wedding ceremonies. “This one says, ‘Save your tootin’ for the bathroom.’”

“It was so sweet,” Shannon smiles. “And so funny!”

Then, when they heard Shannon had no flowers for the big day, the children delivered a bouquet to her, one stem at a time.

“Everybody just made me feel happy,” Shannon says, fighting back tears. “It wasn’t feeling happy, so it was so special.”

But it didn’t stop there. Three women offered up their wedding dresses for Shannon to wear. Followed by a stylist (Alexandra Forman Artistry), florist (, and a photographer ( hearing about Shannon’s situation and donating or deeply discounting their services.

“It was so, so kind,” Shannon cries.

Just a week after dad’s diagnosis, Shannon was ready for a real wedding. Until the big day began with a huge dump of snow.

“It was crazy,” Shannon says of the record-breaking snowfall. “The roads weren’t plowed.”

Shannon and her parents got stuck on the way to the wedding.

“ A whole bunch of people on the street were like, ‘Do you need help?’” Shannon says. “And at that point I started to cry, ‘Please, please help me. I’m just trying to get married.’”

The group got them unstuck and on their way. They made it to the donated venue, which was outside, and staged the ceremony in the snow.

“It was crying and I was snotty,” Shannon smiles. “I was a big gross mess.”

Yet despite everything, the wedding was a big success. Her dad walked her down the aisle, the love of her life said "I do," and her mom provided a comforting embrace.

“I’m grateful that my parents were there,” Shannon says. “But I’m sad because I wish they could be there healthy.”

While it wasn’t Shannon’s dream scenario, thanks to the kindness of so many, the wedding was a dream come true.

“I’m absolutely honoured that so many people cared enough to be there for me,” Shannon says through tears.

That she could show her parents that their little girl will be OK. Top Stories

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