By Jessica Dean
READING, Pa. (CBS) — Family and friends are raising money to give a Reading couple the wedding reception they never had. They plan to hold it next weekend because time is of the essence.
Jennifer Silva has waited seven years to wear this wedding dress.
“I’m shaking,” Jennifer said as she tried it on at David’s Bridal in Springfield. “Amazing. I can’t believe I’m actually wearing a wedding dress, finally.”
Soon, she’ll have a real wedding, seven years after she first said “I do” to her husband, Javier, in between cases at a courthouse.
“We made a deal on our tenth wedding anniversary that we would have a big party, a big reception,” Jennifer said.
So if the deal was 10 years, why have the party at seven?
“I’d rather rush now, just in case. It could be anything. He could start bleeding internally, because his platelets are so low; he could start bleeding at any time,” Jennifer said.
Javier has been diagnosed a blood disease that can turn into leukemia. He also has a liver disorder and his lungs are weak.
“I hope the doctors are wrong,” Javier said. “I hope I have years instead of months, but you don’t know that.”
So the couple ordered invitations and set a date. The wedding will include their two children, Jayden and Javion.
“He loves me so much,” Javion said.
At just four years old, Javion doesn’t understand what’s happening to his dad.
The thought of the children growing up without him?
“Can’t think about that,” Jennifer said, tearing up.
For Javier, the wedding is a chance to make good on a promise. For Jennifer, it’s the chance to stop time, if just for one day.
“I’m not trying to be greedy. Just one day that I can always remember, that’s all our day,” Jennifer said.
Money is tight, so Jennifer’s sister, Justene Howarth, has set up a Facebook page to raise money to help pay for the event.
“How often do you get to make someone’s dream come true? How many times in your life [are there] when you can do that?” said Justene. “Not many.”
The wedding is scheduled for next Saturday, November 30, with friends and family chipping in. The family says they are $4,000 away from their fundraising goal. You can find out more at their Facebook page here.