"We have been only asking for support, encouragement and prayers, so when all of this blew up we all had every single emotion as possible about it. It's inspiring to see so many good-hearted and caring people out there," Carstens said. "We were kind of in shock. We'll sit up and we'll read [the comments], and sometimes we'll cry and smile. We are blessed."
On March 9, Keane got his first wish fulfilled. The two tied the knot in Peoria, Ill., surrounded by friends and family. Local wedding vendors donated everything, including the photographer, hair and makeup for the bridal party, and food, to make their big day a fairy tale.
"It started with flowers and friends donating some food," Carstens said, "and then a wedding planner donated her time to get things together. It's been an outpouring from the community. They've made this whole day possible for us."
Their slogan, "Nolan Wins," which has been printed on wristbands worn by supporters throughout Keane's fight against brain cancer, was tweaked for the occasion: "Nolan Wins, Nolan Weds."
"He's been such a fighter. He's grown into such an amazing person. He was amazing person and he's even more amazing now," the bride said.
Carstens said they plan to take their honeymoon to Disney World at the end of March and put the rest of the money towards medical bills and towards making the accommodations at Keane's parents' home even more wheelchair-friendly.
"This experience has made us look at life differently," she said. "We are extremely thankful."
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