Woman battling terminal cancer renews vows at Duke Chapel

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Woman battling terminal cancer renews vows at Duke Chapel
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Jessica Sink and Josh Wilkes renewed their wedding vows Tuesday morning at Duke Chapel.

DURHAM (WTVD) -- A North Carolina native diagnosed with terminal cancer and being treated at Duke University Medical Center got a longtime dream fulfilled. She and her husband renewed their wedding vows Tuesday morning at Duke Chapel, and it was hard to spot a dry eye in the place.

There's a long waiting list for weddings in Duke Chapel, but the people in charge fast tracked the renewal of vows for the couple. Jessica Sink spent nearly two years in Duke Hospital for treatment of what doctors now say is terminal cancer. She's battled the disease since she was 10 years old.

"Beat cancer when she was 10 and that was her dream, to someday get married in Duke Chapel, "said Jack Sink, the bride's father.

Friends and family are grateful for this day. They call it a miracle because they thought Jessica would not make it out of the ICU. However, she walked down the chapel's long aisle with her dad all the way to her waiting husband, Josh Wilkes.

"Jessica showed so much courage and that's virtually all she's done the entire time. The only thing she does is think about other people, and the only thing Josh does is think about her. That's what a marriage should be," said Pam Zdenek, the bride's aunt.

A justice of the peace presided when they wed more than two years ago. Their one-year-old daughter Kennedy was the flower girl at Tuesday's special event.

"The love's always been there but to finally get to celebrate that with your family and friends means even more. It's such a special occasion," Jessica said.

The whole day was made possible with help from the hospital, the university, and a network of volunteers.

The couple now plans to head to the beach -- together, in sickness and in health, as long as they both shall live.

"We're going to get her there, and then we'll see what happens next," Zdenek said.

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