Their unconventional wedding was the perfect new chapter to this 47-year love story.

The bride wore white. Her attendants wore scrubs.

It wasn't the first wedding to take place at the hospital, but this was a celebration of love close to 50 years in the making, and nothing, not even cancer could stop it.


Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

It was a wedding some 47 years in the making.

Bob Ceplina met Denise Rheaume in northern Wisconsin way back in 1969. He first saw her while out for a beer one night with his buddy.

"A little thing with hair down below her belt," he told Upworthy. "A hippie chick."

A shy guy, Bob got up the courage to go over. He saw a man who looked to be bothering her, so he told him she was his girlfriend.

"As I saw her, I knew it was it," he said.

Bob and Denise dated off and on but lost touch for close to 40 years — until this past July, when Denise left a note on Bob's door, inviting him to call her.

She was newly single. And he had never stopped thinking about her.

It didn't take long for them to fall in love all over again.

Denise's daughter Megan helps her mom get ready. Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

But when Denise went in for a routine surgery last October, her doctor discovered she had leukemia.

Denise underwent chemotherapy and received a stem cell transplant. Bob got down on one knee to propose in February, and the couple planned to wed this summer.

But the new stem cells were killing the cancer and her immune system, and her condition quickly worsened.

"On Mother's Day weekend, we thought she was going to die," Bob said. But he spent that Saturday holding her hand, talking to her and feeding her ice chips. Before long, he saw the light return to Denise's eyes.

"They gave her a new drug too, so we'll debate as to which was most effective," Bob said with a laugh.

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

With the future still uncertain, Bob and Denise asked if they could get married at the hospital.

Bob thought it would be a small affair in Denise's room. But the staff and team at University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center had much bigger plans.

One of Denise's nurses informed nurse manager Vicki Hubbard about the impending nuptials, and soon the staff was in full wedding planning mode. In just over a week, they pulled together a wedding to remember.

With help from her daughter and the nursing staff, Denise got dolled up for her big day.

The staff decked out her room, now a bridal suite, with decorations, flowers and balloons.

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

A frequent volunteer in the wing, who just happens to be a cosmetologist, did Denise's makeup.

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

But she hardly needed any makeup; she was glowing all day long.

Photo by John Maniaci/ UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

Her dress was perfect for the unseasonably warm Wisconsin day.

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

And nurses styled a wig from the Carbone Cancer Center's wig salon.

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

Before long, it was time to head down to the ceremony!

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

As the bride and her attendants rolled through the wings, patients, nurses, and staff popped out of rooms to see the happy processional.

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

Meanwhile, friends and family gathered at the Haberman Terrace, one of the hospital's outdoor spaces.

Hospital staffed tracked down flowers, supplies, serving tools, and even wedding decorations and tablecloths of their own to lend to the effort. (They had to be secured to the tables just incase a Med Flight helicopter arrived during the ceremony.)


The hospital's art coordinator is a harpist, and the twinkle of beautiful music floated through the courtyard.

"Patients and staff were watching the wedding from the fourth level and up," Denise's daughter, Megan Rheaume-Brand, told Upworthy.

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

When the bride entered, Bob was overcome with joy.

Seeing his bride for the first time was his favorite part of the day. "She deserves this. She really does," he said.

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

The ceremony was a celebration of love incorporating a wide array of faith traditions. Led by Rev. Andy Jones of St. Andrew's Episcopalian Church, Denise's sister-in-law read from the Bible, and a nurse delivered a piece by the dalai lama. A friend of the couple even performed "a song of love and healing on an Ojibwe hand drum," Megan said.

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

Between, family, friends, and hospital staff, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

Soon, Bob and Denise were pronounced husband and wife.

Before the celebration began, Denise took a moment to thank the crowd of friends, family, and hospital staff.

“I want everyone to know that while cancer kills, love heals," she said.

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

Soon, the party was in full swing. The happy couple celebrated with carrot cake...

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

...lots of laughter...

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

...and a champagne toast or two.

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

Banners reading "Best Day Ever" flapped in the breeze, and it was. The happy couple was overwhelmed with gratitude for the effort the staff put in to make their day one to remember.

"They did a phenomenal thing. We weren't expecting that," Bob said. "That made it so special. We're still smiling."

A few weeks later, Denise is getting stronger everyday.

Buoyed by love, top-notch medicine, and lots of support, she's come a long way since her close call on Mother's Day weekend.

"She's doing so well. It truly is a miracle how fast she's improving," her daughter Megan said.

Now a newlywed, Bob drives hundreds of miles back and forth to the hospital in Madison from the couple's home in Rhinelander, but he has no complaints.

"She's worth it, totally," he said. "Your first love is always the best, ya know?"

Photo by John Maniaci/UW Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Flickr.

UPDATE: Sadly, Denise Rheaume passed away on June 24, 2016. Our condolences to Bob, Megan, and Denise's wide circle of family and friends.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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