Elysia Skye
Good Karma
Female | Los Angeles, CA   United States
Plans wedding for bride with terminal cancer
Posted By: simmadown
4/23/13 9:24 AM
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Of the thousands of weddings that no doubt took place in the U.S. on Sunday, there was at least one—between Jennifer Batugo and Brian Gargano, held in a picturesque Japanese garden on a Los Angeles hilltop—that had become a matter of life or death.

At least it felt that way for the bride, who was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive form of breast cancer in late March. Told by doctors that she may only have a few months to live, Batugo, 29, and her fiancé decided they would move their August wedding to April. “We were given kind of a deadline, you could say,” Gargano told Yahoo! Shine. But they had no concrete plans set, and found themselves daunted not only by Batugo’s prognosis, but by the idea of pulling off a wedding so quickly.

For help, Gargano placed a call to L.A. wedding officiant Elysia Skye. Though he didn’t know it at the time, Skye also happened to be a breast cancer survivor who runs a non-profit breast-cancer support organization. She said she cried when she heard the young couple’s story, promising Gargano, “I’ll take care of it all.” Then she sprang into action, kicking off an Indiegogo fund-raising campaign for the wedding and for medical expenses (which, active through April 26, has raked in nearly $13,000 so far). She also easily convinced Yamashiro Hollywood to donate its venue to the couple’s 30-guest event and got some of the top wedding vendors in L.A. to donate their services, mainly by enlisting one very dedicated wedding planner, Laura Guerrie of Rebel Belle Weddings, to orchestrate the event in 10 days flat.

“All of the usual push-pull between what the bride wants and keeping everybody happy is gone,” Guerrie told Shine, adding that there were no formal contracts with any vendors, just an overwhelming flood of enthusiastic verbal commitments to create a magical day for the young couple. And it paid off.

“It gave me a lot of hope,” Batugo told Shine two days before the wedding. “I’m fighting now.”

Just after the wedding, for which the bride wore a champagne-hued gown given to her by an engaged friend—as well as a flowing, dark wig (donated) to cover her own hair, which has already begun to thin from treatments—Batugo sounded positively gleeful. “It was such a beautiful day,” she said happily, “and we’re grateful for the graces we received.”

Guerrie added, “Jenn has one of the most positive, bubbly, lively personalities of anyone I’ve ever met, and she was absolutely ebullient today—laughing and dancing and enjoying every minute of the party.”

It was a marked improvement from how Batugo was understandably feeling just after her rare diagnosis of angiosarcoma of the breast on March 22. Until that point, she had been looking forward to marrying Gargano, 34, a respiratory therapist based in Phoenix, with whom she had embarked upon a whirlwind long-distance relationship, becoming engaged to on Valentine’s Day. But on that fateful day, she learned that she may not live through the summer, and that she would need to start aggressive, weekly chemotherapy treatments right next door to the hospital where she was employed as a gynecology oncology nurse.

“I feel overwhelmed, loved, blessed, but the fear and sadness is new. Anxiety keeps me up...” she wrote on her cancer support blog MyLifeLine.org. “I feel hopeless, but I’ve put on the brave, optimistic, smiley exterior people know me to have... but how to keep it up?!!”

The answer came unexpectedly, through the outpouring of love



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Karma Details


Name: Elysia Skye
Age: N/A
Country: United States
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Gender: Female
Zodiac Sign: N/A
Maiden Name: N/A
Relationship Status: N/A
Profession: Other
Education level: N/A
University: N/A
Found Cheating On: N/A
Ethnicity: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Tattoos: No

Chat: Enter