Kandace “Kandy” and Donnie Musgrove on their wedding day. (McKenzie Shea Photography)

Kandace “Kandy” and Donnie Musgrove on their wedding day. (McKenzie Shea Photography)

With days left to live, Greater Victoria woman gets dream wedding

Community vendors pull together to deliver free, last minute wedding

Standing in his living room on Monday afternoon, Donnie Musgrove held back tears as he watched his fiancee walk toward him. With flowing coppery hair adorned with scarlet roses and green foliage, and a lacey ivory gown, Kandace “Kandy” Harry was the picture of classic beauty.

The day was magical Donnie said, but it was also precious. Precious because it is one of the last they will have together.

Last week, Kandy was told her time is nearly up. Her cancer has spread everywhere.

The battle began in December 2019 when Kandy was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Then, things seemed like they would be alright. Kandy got a hysterectomy and underwent chemotherapy and the couple expected to be given the all clear. But, near the end of the summer last year Kandy and Donnie were visiting family in Ontario and her symptoms came back. By November, Kandy was having her bladder removed and was told she had 18 months left to live.

“We were shocked,” Kandy said. “It was very real then.”

With four kids each and past marriages behind them, Donnie and Kandy first spoke over Plenty of Fish in 2015. But, Donnie joked, Kandy was too busy with work and talking to “250 other men” to pay him much attention at the time. It wasn’t until a mutual friend set them up on a blind dinner date – with only Donnie knowing who he was meeting – that they got to know each other.

Asked now to describe their relationship, the two would both say “easy.” Loving each other has been effortless and natural.

“But,” Donnie said. “Life’s been hard.”

RELATED: Cost for cancer-fighting drugs triples in Canada but still no national drug plan

Far from ready to give up the fight in November, the couple traveled to Tijuana, Mexico for nine weeks of alternative treatments. While there, Donnie recalled Kandy telling the other patients that they should all come up for their wedding this summer. But, upon returning to Victoria in February, Kandy and Donnie quickly learned there wouldn’t be a “this summer.”

Kandy was taken to hospital just two days after arriving home.

“And that’s when they told us,” Kandy said. “That the cancer had spread,” Donnie finished her sentence. It’s almost everywhere now – lungs, liver, lymph nodes, intestines, stomach – and Kandy likely has weeks to live.

“There’s nothing we can do and it’s just a matter of time,” she said.

So, when bridal shop owner Lily Kennedy reached out to Donnie last Wednesday offering to throw them a last minute wedding free of charge, the couple was blown away.

“My eyes leaked a little bit,” Donnie admitted.

Kandace “Kandy” and Dannie Musgrove on their wedding day. (McKenzie Shea Photography)

In just four days Kennedy gathered a team of local vendors to pull off a candle-lit ivory and burgundy ceremony on Monday afternoon. For family and friends who couldn’t come in person, Kennedy made sure the wedding was live-streamed.

“It was absolutely perfect,” Kandy said. “More than I ever could have imagined.”

Now, Donnie and Kandy are spending every minute they can together. They’re positive and grateful for the time they’ve had.

“I have some amazing people in my life, especially with Donnie and my kids,” Kandy said. “And I have faith too. My faith helps to keep me strong and positive.”

RELATED: Cancer trial to focus on protecting patients from COVID-19 infection


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

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