High School Sweetheart Grants Boyfriend His Dying Wish After Terminal Diagnosis


A Florida teenager diagnosed with terminal cancer will be granted his dying wish this weekend: to marry his high school sweetheart.

At 19-years old, Dustin Snyder will marry Sierra Siverio on Sunday at the Big Red Barn, which is being donated as a wedding space.

“I could never even think about leaving his side,” Siverio said in an interview with “The Now,” ABC News reported.

Snyder was healthy growing up, playing both football and baseball. He and Siverio also attended two proms together.

He was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma when he was 18, and endured six months of chemotherapy before being declared cancer free.

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At the beginning of this year, though, things took a turn for the worst.

“Three weeks ago he was losing lots of weight and he was in a lot of pain,” Cassandra Fondahn, Snyder’s mother, said. “And we took him to the hospital and his stomach and his pelvic areas were infested with the cancer.”

After his terminal diagnosis, just three days ago, he said that his final wish was to marry his high school sweetheart, Siverio.

“She means the world to me,” he said in the interview, though his words are now barely audible.

Snyder’s older sister, Brittany Hails, set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the wedding.

“He is currently on hospice and has a pain pump connected to his heart,” the page read. “We are trying to make his wishes come true by providing him and his long-term girlfriend with a wedding 28th Jan 2018 (Sunday).”

So far, the community has helped raise money for wedding rings, a dress and a tuxedo for the young couple. LifePath Hospice is donating flowers and bridesmaid dresses.

“Please lets help Dustin enjoy the rest of his life with his soulmate,” the fundraising page concluded.

Synovial sarcoma is a rare form of soft tissue sarcoma, “which is a type of cancer that arises from soft tissues near the joints but can sometimes develop in the kidney and lung,” according to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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It is common in people younger than 30, but it is still a very rare tumor. It only occurs in 1 to 3 people per million. “About 800 new cases of synovial sarcoma are diagnosed in the U.S. each year,” the hospital reported. It is also more common in males.

Signs and symptoms of synovial sarcoma include “problems using one or both legs, feet, arms or hands” as well as “pain near the affected area.”

No matter how little time is left, the young couple’s upcoming nuptials, and the whirlwind of planning a wedding in a week, is their happy ending.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith