A bride who had been given a dream wedding due to the kindness of strangers succumbed to cancer at age 35 on Thursday. Jen Bulik-Lang’s story has shown the power of paying it forward. According to a story on TODAY, after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, Jen was told that, even with continued treatment, she would most likely not live for another six months.
"So when I heard that, I said, 'Let's get married,'" said Jen, who had been dating boyfriend Jeff Lang for six years, in an interview with NBC Bay Area back in July. "Because I wanted to focus on life."
Jen and Jeff had initially planned a small, informal wedding in her parents’ backyard but that’s when social worker-turned-wedding planner Erica Ota stumbled across Jen’s Pinterest page, which was filled with visions of Jen’s ideal day.
Erica coordinated a dream wedding for the couple, which included thirty local vendors who donated $50,000 worth of goods and services. As if that already doesn’t induce chills, 1,000 people in the Bay Area who heard about Jen’s story pitched in $57,000 to help cover her medical expenses following the wedding and an unforgettable honeymoon.
"For me, this whole process has been really difficult and today was easy," Jeff said at the time. "We just showed up and did our thing, and it just gets more and more magical with every moment."
Sadly, Jen passed at 8 a.m. on Thursday, with her husband at her bedside.
“It was beautiful and very peaceful,” Jeff told TODAY, adding that his wife, who is gone far too soon, will always be with him.
This story just breaks our heart, and yet it shows the strength of the human spirit.