VISTA (CBSLA.com) — An Inland Empire woman who made the ultimate sacrifice for her newborn daughter by refusing lifesaving treatment for bone cancer has wed.
Ashley Caughey, formerly Ashley Bridges, of Wildomar had to move up her dream wedding initially scheduled for January after a bone scan in November showed that the cancer had spread.
The couple wed at the Vista Valley Country Club exactly a year after their engagement surrounded by their friends and family.
"My goal was to not have her think of the fact that she was diagnosed with cancer," said Lindsey Natzic-Villatoro of Love Song Events & Photography.
Natzic-Villatoro reached out to her vendors who donated everything from the flowers to the cake and the venue.
The $80,000 wedding was free for the bride and groom.
"Everybody that just has participated in this want her to feel loved and just forget for one day about the fact that she's sick," Natzic-Villatoro said.
As CBS2's Kristine Lazar reports, the day was filled with both joy and sadness.
Jonathan Caughey, her husband, said: "Good times can be bad too because something can be so good and you can be so happy about it but …"
"Then reality hits you," Ashley added.
A month after the couple got engaged, they learned they were expected a girl, but their excitement was short-lived.
"One day I was perfectly fine in Vegas at a ball with him, and the next day I woke up and I couldn't walk," she said.
The 26-year-old says her doctors urged her to start chemotherapy immediately but in order to do so, she would have to terminate her pregnancy.
"I couldn't have lived with myself if I did it ... if I would have done what the doctors asked me to," she said.
A few weeks shy of her due date, she delivered their baby girl, Paisley, and finally started treatment, but it was too late.
The cancer had spread.
"It's a double-edge sword. You get the most precious little baby girl, but at the same time, it's like that could have changed things," Jonathan said.
The cancer is now Stage 4.
Doctors initially told Ashley she had less than a year to live, so the couple decided on a January wedding date.
"I really wanted to marry him, and I knew that I had to do it soon because I didn't want to not have the chance one day," she said.
But in November, a bone scan showed the cancer was even more devastating than originally thought. Her body is now filled with tumors.
Although the couple likely won't make it to their first anniversary, Ashley says she has no regrets.
"Not at all. No," she said.
Ashley continues to live each day making new memories and plans to take her family to Big Bear Lake and Disneyland for Christmas.
"You don't need to go home, lie down in bed and wait to die. You live your life and you hope that tomorrow you'll wake up, but you just live your life," she said.
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