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‘Rose in a Rose Garden’: Terminally Ill Man’s Last Wish is to Marry The Love of His Life

Dreamer Stories | January 6, 2018

A terminally ill man stood before the love of his life on a downtown rooftop Saturday ready to commit to her for the rest of his life.

Richard Mathis and his new bride, Laura, met about three years ago, when they were both struggling with homelessness.

“We kind of hit it off from there,” Mathis told NBC 7, unable to hide his smile. “I said, ‘Well, we’ve both got the same interests, we might invest that in being together, so that’s kind of how it came about.”

Mathis said he believes a successful relationship is a mix of many factors, but what attracted him to Laura wasn’t complicated at all. “She’s like a rose in a rose garden and she’s the largest one out there with all the different pretty colors,” he said still smiling.

The two are now living in a small apartment together, but their financial problems are made that much more difficult because of Mathis’ illness. He suffers from coronary heart failure and is in hospice.

“I guess the whole heart just decides to stop doing its thing,” he explained. “Although mine is not as efficient in one area, it’s still efficient enough in another to keep me going.”

Apreva Hospice, the Alpha Program and the Dream Foundation collaborated to bring together Richard and Laura’s wedding. “It is quite a love story that had happened here,” Patty Shigley, a nurse practitioner and clinical director for Hospice, said.