Kandace “Kandy” and Donnie Musgrove on their wedding day. (McKenzie Shea Photography)

Kandace “Kandy” and Donnie Musgrove on their wedding day. (McKenzie Shea Photography)

With days left to live, Vancouver Island woman gets dream wedding

Community vendors pull together to deliver free, last minute wedding

Standing in his living room on Monday afternoon, Donnie Musgrove held back tears as he watched his fiancee walk toward him. With flowing coppery hair adorned with scarlet roses and green foliage, and a lacey ivory gown, Kandace “Kandy” Harry was the picture of classic beauty.

The day was magical Donnie said, but it was also precious. Precious because it is one of the last they will have together.

Last week, Kandy was told her time is nearly up. Her cancer has spread everywhere.

The battle began in December 2019 when Kandy was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Then, things seemed like they would be alright. Kandy got a hysterectomy and underwent chemotherapy and the couple expected to be given the all clear. But, near the end of the summer last year the Greater Victoria couple was visiting family in Ontario and her symptoms came back. By November, Kandy was having her bladder removed and was told she had 18 months left to live.

“We were shocked,” Kandy said. “It was very real then.”

With four kids each and past marriages behind them, Donnie and Kandy first spoke over Plenty of Fish in 2015. But, Donnie joked, Kandy was too busy with work and talking to “250 other men” to pay him much attention at the time. It wasn’t until a mutual friend set them up on a blind dinner date – with only Donnie knowing who he was meeting – that they got to know each other.

Asked now to describe their relationship, the two would both say “easy.” Loving each other has been effortless and natural.

“But,” Donnie said. “Life’s been hard.”

RELATED: Cost for cancer-fighting drugs triples in Canada but still no national drug plan

Far from ready to give up the fight in November, the couple traveled to Tijuana, Mexico for nine weeks of alternative treatments. While there, Donnie recalled Kandy telling the other patients that they should all come up for their wedding this summer. But, upon returning to Victoria in February, Kandy and Donnie quickly learned there wouldn’t be a “this summer.”

Kandy was taken to hospital just two days after arriving home.

“And that’s when they told us,” Kandy said. “That the cancer had spread,” Donnie finished her sentence. It’s almost everywhere now – lungs, liver, lymph nodes, intestines, stomach – and Kandy likely has weeks to live.

“There’s nothing we can do and it’s just a matter of time,” she said.

So, when bridal shop owner Lily Kennedy reached out to Donnie last Wednesday offering to throw them a last minute wedding free of charge, the couple was blown away.

“My eyes leaked a little bit,” Donnie admitted.

Kandace “Kandy” and Dannie Musgrove on their wedding day. (McKenzie Shea Photography)

In just four days Kennedy gathered a team of local vendors to pull off a candle-lit ivory and burgundy ceremony on Monday afternoon. For family and friends who couldn’t come in person, Kennedy made sure the wedding was live-streamed.

“It was absolutely perfect,” Kandy said. “More than I ever could have imagined.”

Now, Donnie and Kandy are spending every minute they can together. They’re positive and grateful for the time they’ve had.

“I have some amazing people in my life, especially with Donnie and my kids,” Kandy said. “And I have faith too. My faith helps to keep me strong and positive.”

RELATED: Cancer trial to focus on protecting patients from COVID-19 infection


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

CancerVictoriaWeddings

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Okanagan-Shuswap real estate market continues hot start to 2021

Sales in February were up more than 100 per cent over last year, reports the Association of Interior Realtors

John Hordyk said it isn’t fair to just look at COVID-19 deaths as many survivors are experiencing long-term impacts, himself included. (Photo by Rachel Muise)
Not getting better: Revelstoke man diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome

‘I hope the damage isn’t long term, but it could be permanent’

Phase four of the Kicking Horse Canyon project will twin the winding stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway just east of Golden. (file photo)
Trans-Canada Highway reduced to one lane east of Golden

It’s the first of the Kicking Horse Canyon Phase 4 closures which will ramp up in the coming weeks

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
EDITORIAL: Heightened tension over face masks

Incidents of anger and conflicts over mandated masks happening too frequently

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki responded to BC Housing minster David Eby’s remarks that the city has put themselves at risk of creating a tent city Wednesday, March 3, 2020. (Western News file photo)
Penticton mayor calls out BC Housing minister for ‘irresponsible fear-mongering’

Council recently rejected BC Housing’s request to keep a winter shelter open longer than first planned

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read