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When Stixrud, 22, proposed to McClure, 19, on Christmas Eve, the two initially planned to exchange vows the following December, giving them a full year to carefully craft their perfect wedding. But in early January they got the news that changed everything: McClure's dad, Joey, who has been battling gastrointestinal cancer for the past 12 years, learned during a recent trip to the ER that his cancer is terminal.
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At first McClure and her family began discussing having a small ceremony in the hospital, so that her dad wouldn't miss it. McClure was up for doing whatever it took to make sure her dad could be part of the big day, her wedding coordinator, Kristene O’Dell, tells Yahoo Shine. But O'Dell and a few of McClure's friends knew that, deep down, McClure really wanted a big, dream ceremony and reception. (She is, after all, from Texas.)
O'Dell also knew that she alone couldn't throw together an amazing wedding in just 20 days so she put out a call-to-action on Facebook for help and donations. News of the impending union spread like wildfire through the couple’s church, Mesquite First Assembly of God — the same one the pair met at as kids — and the community. “Every piece that we could possibly think of came to us,” O’Dell shares. The response was beyond impressive: A church member purchased the bride’s wedding dress, and a stranger paid for the alterations. Vendors, including some from the Dallas Bridal Show — that, as luck would have it, happened to be in town the weekend of the wedding — provided the flowers, food, cake, music, and decorations for the chapel’s gymnasium, where the reception took place.
"The wedding was more than I could ever even imagine," McClure tells Yahoo Shine. It all went off without a hitch on Jan. 25. McClure got the big wedding that she'd dreamed of and her dad got to experience the whole the big day. "He was so happy and overwhelmed and thankful," she says. "I think it was really good for him to see that people really do care and love him."