Nolan Keane likely has only a few months to live but he plans on living them to the fullest. And thanks to the kindness of strangers, one very special dying wish is going to come true.
The 28-year-old has been battling stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain cancer since 2008, and in November was told he has less than a year to live.
That didn’t stop the former Missouri State University baseball star from proposing to his high school sweetheart Morgan Carstens.
The pair have been dating since they were both high school students in Illinois, and their love never wavered in the years since Nolan’s devastating diagnosis, followed by numerous hospitalizations, treatments and surgeries.
“With each surgery, he’d have more trouble moving around,” Carstens told the New York Daily News.
She’d become a registered nurse but put her career on hold for the full time job of caring for Nolan.
Three months ago, his family treated him to a trip to Disneyland. That’s where Nolan shocked them all by struggling out of his wheelchair, getting down on one knee and proposing to Morgan.
They went up to the castle to see the fireworks, Castens said. “Nolan tricked me. He told me his back was hurting and asked me to help him out of his wheelchair. Then he got down on one knee. I started crying so much that I forgot to answer.”
They’ll say ‘I do” on March 9 with friends coming forward with offers to pay for flowers and food.
But with his overwhelming medical bills and no income for either the bride or groom, a trip back to the Happiest Place on Earth for a honeymoon seemed out of the question.
That’s when Nolan’s sisters came up with the idea of a public appeal, setting up a page on Giveforward.com.
They hoped to raise $20,000 for the trip and as of Saturday, they’ve reached that goal. Total strangers have given anywhere from $10 to $3,000. The page is staying open until March 31.
“When they look at one another you can see the incredible love they have for each other,” Nolan’s sister Jaclyn said. “They never ask for anything and deserve an incredible honeymoon to help them forget about the bad things, even if it is just for a moment.”