Groom battling cancer marries bride at Penn State Hershey Medical Center

Aric and Ashley Mercado have waited eight years to get married, but not by choice. The Harrisburg couple has to keep pushing back their big day because of health problems.

Aric Mercado has battled Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma for about six years while Ashley has overcome two collapsed lungs and respiratory failure. “Every time we decide to actually get married, my cancer would come back,” says Aric.

On Wednesday, they finally tied the knot. It was an impromptu wedding, planned in just days, held at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Aric was admitted to the hospital over the weekend and doctors weren’t sure that he would make it. But the couple promised their two daughters that they would get married and the girls could be flower girls at the wedding.

“We didn’t want to lose the chance of not getting married because of my health. I want my girls to grow up knowing that their parents were married and that they love each other very much,” says Aric.

So on Wednesday morning the staff at Penn State Hershey Medical along with the couple’s pastor put on a small ceremony for friends and family.

There was cake, non-alcoholic drinks and of course, rings, handmade by the couples’ daughters, Alani and Kylie, since the couple can not afford rings because of medical expenses.

Aric and Ashley say they hope to purchase rings eventually, when Aric is released out of the hospital.

While doctors aren’t certain about Aric’s future, the couple is staying optimistic. Ashley says, “We’re gonna look to the future and just take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute and just live it. And just know that life is too short and if you’ve gotta do something… Do it for love.”

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