This Powerful Love Story About Two High School Sweethearts Will Move You To Tears

With a few months left to live, Leslie had only one wish: to marry Daniel.

1. This is Leslie Rivera, an 18-year-old from Murrieta, Calif.

Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

2. This is Daniel Mendez, Leslie’s boyfriend. They met while working together for an anti-racism group at their high school, and have been dating since last October.

Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

3. This past April, at the age of 17, Leslie was diagnosed with leukemia. Despite the illness, she graduated from her high school in May.

4. But her condition was aggressive, and she had to spend the next several months in a hospital. To pass the time, Leslie watched the TV shows Unveiled and My Fair Wedding, both starring nationally renown wedding planner David Tutera.

 

5. All the while, her boyfriend Daniel stood loyally by her side through her battle with the illness.

Josh deBerge / Via Make A Wish

6. When 17-year-old Leslie was referred to Make-A-Wish, it took no time for her to decide on a wish: to marry Daniel, her companion and best friend.

Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

7. Leslie’s condition was serious, so Make-A-Wish knew their time was limited and they worked quickly. She was fitted for a wedding dress last week.

Sarah Pizzaruso

Sarah Pizzaruso

 

8. Through Make-A-Wish, David Tutera was brought on board to make Leslie’s wish come true. After days of preparation, David surprised Leslie by personally showing up at her dress fitting.

Sarah Pizzaruso

Sarah Pizzaruso

 
Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

10. Leslie and David laughed and chatted through the fitting.

Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

11. “The best part of this day,” Tutera said, “is seeing that she’s a normal bride.”

Sarah Pizzaruso

Sarah Pizzaruso

Make A Wish

 

12. The wedding took place on Nov. 21 at Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado (Orange County, Calif.).

Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

13. Leslie had requested a rustic, nature-themed wedding, modeled after the wedding in the Twilight series.

Sarah Pizzaruso

Make A Wish

Sarah Pizzaruso

Make A Wish

 

14. Tutera granted all of Leslie’s wishes, including a photo booth and chocolate-covered strawberries.

Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

15. Sarah Pizzaruso, a Make-A-Wish representative, told BuzzFeed over email that the wedding went off without a hitch.

Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

16. “[Leslie] spent the day before the wedding in the hospital getting transfusions,” Sarah said. “Yesterday showed the true ‘power of a wish,’ as we call it.”

Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

17. “Watching Leslie absolutely radiate in front of her guests, greeting people with a smile, staring so lovingly at her new husband as they toasted the crowd — you would have never known the challenges she is going through.”

Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

18. “And watching Daniel care for her, assisting her walking, holding her hands during the vows — there is no question these two are meant to be together.”

Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

19. “That’s the goal of Make-A-Wish,” Sarah said, “to give kids a chance to fulfill their truest wish… And to give their families a chance to focus on something other than doctors, hospitals and needles.”

Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

20. “Leslie, Daniel and their families had time to celebrate, laugh, and dance — something that really hasn’t been in the plans for the last several months.”

Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

21. “Honestly, the last week has been challenging,” Sarah said. As of this morning, Leslie is currently on hospice.

Sarah Pizzaruso / Via Make A Wish

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Facebook Conversations
          
    Hot Buzz

    Describe The Plot Of A Popular Movie You’ve Never Actually Seen

    collection

    55 Super Awkward Middle School Photos

    collection
    Now Buzzing