Woman with a debilitating condition gets her dream wedding
Kerry Leikin came into the world with congenital heart disease, a malady that necessitates constant, costly medical care.
The 27-year-old preschool teacher and her 26-year-old fiancé recently postponed their wedding because health care bills had eaten away their finances, leaving them with no money for a ceremony.
Then Ben learned of a promotional package that would pay for a couple's wedding at Disneyland, the enchanted kingdom the Los Angeles couple loved to visit to take their minds off Kerry's health difficulties.
He secretly applied, and after several conversations with representatives of the sponsors, Kleenex and Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons, Ben was told he and Kerry were the new recipients of a free wedding, complete with Cinderella's carriage and footmen.
Ben didn't want to spill the beans just yet, so he said to Kerry, "I'm not cheating on you, but I got to do a lot of work on my phone," he told InsideEdition.com Wednesday night.
He eventually broke the news by going to her preschool, dressed in something in he rarely wears – a suit and a tie – and interrupted a staff meeting.
He got down on one knee and handed over a piece of paper that said he and Kerry were going to have a fairy tale wedding in the California theme park dedicated to fairy tales.
"I was shocked ... I was like 'You're interrupting my day! I'm at work!" Kerry said.
And so it was that Kerry, wearing a wedding dress supplied by a designer who makes Disney-themed gowns, walked down the aisle at Disneyland at 7 a.m., long before it opened.
"It was very special," she said. "Being in the park before it's open, the music was softly playing, the sun is coming up, all the lights were twinkling, it was very magical," she said.
The two had gotten engaged at Disneyland. "It just became a special place for us. We looked at it as a safe haven, where we could feel normal. We didn't have to think of anything serious," she said.
And on their wedding day, Aug. 31, "we had it all to ourselves," said Ben.
They haven't yet gone on a honeymoon. That will come later, they said. For now they are thankful that Kerry's health is being managed, though someday she may need a transplant.
"I was kind of afraid when I surprised her that would affect her heart," Ben said.
But the wedding was everything they dreamed of.
"Magical, magical," said Ben. "From the beginning to the end."
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