asthma, delays in speech, motor skills and learning problems. After additional evaluations, it was discovered that Leon also had mild epilepsy, ADHD, and memory issues too.
the thought of a legally recognized wedding ceremony didn’t cross their minds often, until January of this year. It was then that everything changed. They were told that Erwin only had a few months left to live, and began research on hospice care.
Photo courtesy Three Lights Photography
REAL COUPLES | REAL WEDDINGS
But even with the hundreds of hours of care and love Ed and Erwin bestowed on Leon, they knew one child was not enough, and in 2007 they adopted another Guatemalan boy, Ilo, now age 4. “We describe having children as the hardest/best thing that we have ever done,” Ed explains with a grin. “There is always something that needs to be taken care of with the children—extra shopping, activities, doctor appointments, school appointments. But it is all worth it for that spontaneous laugh or hug and seeing them grow and learn.”
“In 2008, I noticed an unusual pain in my back,” Erwin explains. “I saw a few doctors and they detected a mass in my right lung, but were unable to diagnose specifically what the problem was.”
Living together, having children, Ed and Erwin led what they believed was a typical married life. “We considered ourselves married in every way,” Ed explains. In fact,
In March of 2009, that specific diagnosis was made: Erwin had stage IIIB lung cancer and had six to twelve months to live. The cancer had also metastasized
to his brain and bones. In addition to the children and Erwin’s illness, Erwin and Ed now had a wedding on their minds.
A Wedding Contest Ed had noticed an ad for a voter-driven
wedding giveaway, and to surprise Erwin, he entered. But in the age of quicklyspreading news, within hours Erwin had
Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 9