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

Victory Church homeless shelter had the highest calls for police service above everywhere else, at 290 calls for service, in the first three months of the year. (Jesse Day Western News)
UPDATE: Human error doubled data about calls for police to Penticton’s homeless shelters

Police have now partnered with Interior Health to have a nurse come with them to calls

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Fun in Penticton is being promoted through banners going up along Main and Westminster. (Suzanne White Western News)
Banners go up in downtown celebrating fun in Penticton

From beach or biking time to dining or shopping, the banners promote things to do

(File photo)
Penticton, Summerland RCMP having success with online crime reporting

They have also added new crimes that can be reported online

Parkway Elementary Gr. 4 and 5 students have created an art project displayed for sale at businesses around Penticton with money raised going back to the school, local charity and internationally. (Submitted)
Penticton elementary students artwork displayed around Penticton

Parkway Elementary Grade 4/5s have art at Lakeside Resort, Blendz and Dragon’s Den

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

(Kingfisher Boats photo)
In the market for a boat in the North Okanagan? Be prepared to wait

Vernon’s Kingfisher Boats is out of 2021 models, with many 2022 models already pre-sold

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

George Ryga, considered by many as Canada’s most important English playwright lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987. He is the inspiration for the annual Ryga Arts Festival. (Contributed)
Summerland archive established for George Ryga

Renowned author wrote novels, poetry, stage plays and screen plays from Summerland home

Most Read