Family Pleads for Help in Granting Dying Woman's Last Wish — to Wed Her Best Friend

When Josefina Ruiz learned she may only have months to live, she asked for one last wish – to marry her best friend.

Now, family members and friends are fighting to make that wish come true.

The former dancer for ballet Folklorico Manquetzalli was diagnosed with colon-rectal cancer last year at the age of 47 and “has been fighting the biggest battle of her life" ever since. 

She was recently told by doctors that her cancer has spread to her liver and lungs and she has an estimated 3 to 6 months left to live.

"When he told me I said, 'I don't believe it,'" Ruiz said. "I said, 'No, this is not happening to me. No."

Ruiz said she's now waiting for a miracle, but that miracle may just be her best friend and "soulmate" Luis Montejano, who quit his job to take care of her.

"He's a wonderful man," she said. "He's my angel."

Ruiz proposed to Montejano two months ago, saying "it is the last thing I want to do -- marry him."

"I wish I had more time with her," he said. "I pray that I do, regardless whether it is months of years." 

But family members have put all of their money into paying for Ruiz’s medical care, and said they have little left to put together a wedding.

“As all the families [sic] funds are being used towards her treatment and care there are no funds available for the wedding so we are reaching out to our community our friends in hopes that you can find it in your hearts to help make this special wish come true,” a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the wedding read.

Ruiz is scheduled to endure her next round of chemotherapy in about three weeks, and her loved ones hopes to throw her a wedding before that time as Ruiz's condition isn't improving.

"It is hard to see her that way," Montejano said. "I told her if I had the chance, I would take her pain if I could."

With a date set for Oct. 8, the day the couple met 10 years earlier, in the groom’s sister’s South Chicago backyard, many have flocked to help make Ruiz’s final wish come true.

Friends and supporters have donated things like food, a wig, centerpieces, décor, minister services and more. Her sister even made her a wedding dress. But there are still several items the family needs before the big day.

They’re looking for donations, sponsorships and funds to make Ruiz’s wish “a dream come true.”

“They thank you all from the bottom of their hearts for helping in any way that you can,” a post in the Josefina’s Wish Facebook page read.

If there are any remaining funds, organizers said they will go toward Ruiz’s medical care.

"Even though we are not married legally, she has always been my wife," Montejano said. "You do anything for someone you love."

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