PALM CITY (CBS Miami)
Steven Owens waited with bated breath to watch his bride walk down the aisle one last time.
“We’ve been together for 28 years and married 25 in September, but with the doctors’ reports, we may not make that,” he said.
Just days ago, wife Charlene Owens was given the news treatments for her stage 4 bile duct cancer had not worked. Her sister Mary Ellen Huff sprang into action knowing Charlene may not make their September anniversary.
“We quickly planned a renewal ceremony for her and her husband for Valentine’s Day. We figured, what better way to celebrate their love story than on the day of love?” Huff said.
So family and friends from across the country gathered by a waterfront gazebo in Palm City as a defiant Charlene fulfilled her last wish. With her sons by her side, she made it to the altar and once again said: “I do.”
“This has just been amazing—I can’t believe it’s been just 24 hours, and this all got pulled off; it has just been so special,” Charlene said.
The 50-year-old honor flight faithful and avid community volunteer was diagnosed with rare cancer just six months ago. Now back in her original wedding dress, she says never lose yourself.
“I do feel beautiful, and I’m glad I didn’t wear I wig. I haven’t worn one since my husband shaved my head,” she said.
With no future treatments or trials possible the Owens family is hoping for a miracle while living for the moment. Her husband Steven explained his smile this Valentine’s Day and said, “I didn’t want to be upset about what I lost; I want to be grateful for what I had.”
As Charlene blew a kiss to her tribe she said, “No matter how hard life gets, you have to hold on to each other.”
Charlene’s future is unsure, but her family’s bills are, unfortunately, a reality. Her son Connor is on the autism spectrum, and she was his primary caretaker.
The family now says they are focused on funeral expenses and Connor’s care.