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Bride With Terminal Cancer Gets Dream Wedding

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It makes it easier to live in the moment when some of those moments are awesome. (Published Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013)

    When people come over their Mountain View apartment these days, newlyweds Jen Bulik-Lang and husband Jeff Lang don't need a lot of encouragement to pop open their laptop and hit play on their wedding video.

    They are more than happy to sit through it themselves, even thought they know how it ends.

    It is all a part of living in the moment, the couple say. Something they've been working very hard to do ever since Jen was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer and given just a few months to live.

    Living in the moment is, of course, easier when many of those moments are awesome: Like all that lead up to Jen and Jeff's wedding, the wedding itself, and all that has come afterwards.

    Jen and Jeff's unique journey started with that cancer diagnosis. Jen decided to "focus on life" for whatever time she had left. First thing on her to do list: Marry her boyfriend of six years. That came true on July 2.

    Their original plan was to have a simple ceremony at a park near their parents San Jose home, then hold a BBQ reception in the parent's backyard. That was the plan, at least, until Erica Ota got involved.

    The social worker-turned-wedding planner from the East Bay heard about Jen and Jeff's story and decided to help.

    MORE: Amazing Gift: Bride With Terminal Cancer to Have Dream Wedding

    What happened next  - neither Erica nor Jen could have ever dreamed possible. Erica, in just 12 days, staged Jen’s dream wedding based on a Pinterest board that the bride-to-be had worked on while in the hospital. More than 60 vendors donated goods and services worth more than $50,000.

    "It was magical," Jeff says, "it was the magic moment we were going for."

     "It was awesome," concurs Erica, "one of the best weddings I have worked on, if not the best."

    In the days that followed, though, it got even better.

     

    After Jen and Jeff's story aired on NBC Bay Area, thousands of people tweeted, posted, and shared the story. Jen and Jeff began to read notes of encouragement and praise coming in from around the world.

     

    Even legendary actor Chuck Norris wrote a lengthy commentary trumpeting Jen and Jeff's courage and love.

    "I felt as though I was in an alternate world," Jen says, "like, I'm just Jen Bulick. And here are all of these people who want to hear what I have to say.

    Erica estimates she received more than 3,000 emails in response to the story. She says the experience has changed her life, as well.

    "I think meeting Jen and Jeff and being part of this process really forced me to step back and look at my own life and be present in a way I hadn’t been," Erica says. "I don’t think I’ve ever really lived my life that way and I’m learning how to do that- after meeting Jen and Jeff."

     

    IF YOU'RE INTERESTED: Jen Bulik has set up a fund to help her with medical expenses. If you'd like to learn more, click here.