Vernon and North Okanagan News
Dream wedding for dying man
The focus of this story starts at the 1:30 mark.
Ryan Langley is nearly 30, an avid motocross competitor who's found the love of his life, but he's dying.
Langley was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and after 9-months of battling the disease he was given the news, in February, that there was nothing more the doctors could do.
With just 12-weeks to live he proposed to his girlfriend and was adamant that he would marry her before his time was done. After all of the treatments he was broke, so he did not know how he was going to afford a wedding.
Instead, a woman he hardly knew made sure they had a wedding of their dreams, stress free and cash free.
Prank-it-fwd is a newer fad working its way around the Internet that has people doing kind things for each other in a pranking fashion.
The most famous is a YouTube video called 'The Best Shift Ever' has an unsuspecting restaurant server in Venice California being surprised with the best tip and best day of her life: she was given a new car.
In response to that video, Abbotsford company T-Lane Transportation challenged its employees to come up with their own Prank-it-fwd idea.
Shelley Raspberry was one of those employees and her first thought was Ryan Langley.
As it turns out a good friend of Raspberry, Tanner Attfield, had competed with Langley in motocross and knew his tragic story. Raspberry knew right away that she wanted to try to provide the wedding of their dreams.
She nominated them and the whole company backed her idea and then they were off to the races.
“Everyone at the company and all my family and friends were behind this,” says Raspberry. “I sent out emails and requests and letters asking for money and donations. Every single thing I asked for I got, thousands and thousands of dollars to make this happen.”
Raspberry was blown away by the donations, which quickly provided the ability to throw a dream wedding in Kamloops for the young couple.
She was provided with cash, a tent, a DJ, a caterer, decorations, furniture, photographer, videographer, everything she could have dreamed of.
“We stepped in and were able to take away all of that stress, the wedding stress, the money stress and they were able to just concentrate all their time and energy on him and his health and it worked, a miracle happened” says Raspberry.
She says she had to be planning a wedding and a celebration of life at the same time because they really didn't know if Langley was going to make it.
“But, with us taking that stress off him he gained so much energy. He was bed ridden a couple weeks before the wedding... but a couple days before the wedding he was up, he was standing, at the day of the wedding he even stood at the alter.”
Raspberry says after two quick months of planning, the most beautiful wedding she had every seen came together.
“It was just amazing, everything just fell into place. They were so touched. They are just really good people that deserve this but, they just couldn't believe it. I am part of their family now and they are still just so grateful,” says Raspberry.
Raspberry was able to enlist the help of people coast to coast who donated and spread the word.
Because the idea was initiated by the Break.com Prank-it-fwd movement, she decided to tell them about her plan and they immediately jumped on board.
Their team filmed the entire event, which can be seen above. They also arranged for one of Langley's idols to make an appearance. Motocross champion Cory Graffunder attended the wedding and he gave Langley some special motocross items.
The Vernon dirt bike club that Langley is involved in also had an amazing sign made and a dirt bike path will be dedicated to his honour in the area.
“The energy, the love, the spiritual energy that came from that day was overwhelming. I have never felt anything like it. When I started this I had 60 days to plan a wedding for strangers, and now we are family. It was such an amazing day,” smiles Raspberry.
The surprise wedding took place July 5 in Kamloops at Ryan Langley’s father's home, where friends, family and love surrounded the young couple.
Langley is now in the final stages of his life living in a hospice in Vernon.
You can also check out the Prank-it-fwd website here.
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