Despite cancer and COVID-19, Ottawa couple forges ahead with wedding
May 9 will be the 4th attempt at a wedding this year
It's been a long road to the aisle for Lindsey Vergette-Lamoureux and Darsey O'Hara.
This May will be the Ottawa couple's fourth attempt at a wedding — and this time, they say they won't even let COVID-19 restrictions stop them.
After all, time isn't on their side: Vergette-Lamoureux, 27, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 salivary gland cancer.
"At the end of the day, we're going to be married," she said.
Bonded over tumours
It was that cancer that brought the two together.
In 2016, they both had tumours behind their ears. Vergette-Lamoureux was working with O'Hara's step-mother, who encouraged him to reach out to her.
While O'Hara's tumour ended up being benign, Vergette-Lamoureux's was malignant, and she underwent surgery and radiation.
After she was initially declared cancer-free, the pair soon started dating. In 2017, O'Hara proposed to Vergette-Lamoureux — a "huge Disney fanatic" — at Disneyland in California.
Relapse in January
Vergette-Lamoureux continued to have check-ups every three months, but this January learned the cancer returned and had spread to her hips, spine, skull and both her lungs.
"It wasn't easy to hear the news but, you know, we stay together and stay strong," O'Hara said.
Their wedding had initially been slated for October 2020, but Vergette-Lamoureux's treatment plan set that back.
It was terrible ... we had everything set, planned, organised.- Darsey O'Hara
O'Hara then came up with the idea to make one of Vergette-Lamoureux's dream trips come true, by planning a much-sooner wedding in Hawaii this March — but her doctors didn't clear her to fly.
The third plan was to marry in Ottawa on March 29th, but then COVID-19 hit and that was cancelled, too.
"It was terrible," O'Hara said. "We had everything set, planned, organised, and then it was pretty much just the countdown."
4th time a charm
But they aren't letting the virus stop them. On May 9th, they'll finally tie the knot on O'Hara's brother's lawn, with just their officiant and Vergette-Lamoureux's parents in close proximity.
All other guests will gather in their cars on the street, and the ceremony will be livestreamed.
"After this entire journey, I think that we need something positive," O'Hara said
"I just can't wait to see my beautiful princess in her wedding dress — I will most definitely cry when I see her."
And both feel it's important to do it now.
"I've been noticing a little bit of a decline in my mobility, and I want to be able to walk down the aisle with my dad. I'm a huge daddy's girl." Vergette-Lamoureux said.
The couple plans to host another celebration when pandemic measures are lifted. And while Vergette-Lamoureux's treatment has been put on hold because of the virus, she plans to resume it as soon as she can.