February 14, 2015 9:19 pm
Updated: February 16, 2015 8:59 am

Former Huskies athlete wins dream wedding after cancer diagnosis


Watch above: A woman who lost her husband to cancer weeks after their wedding has turned tragedy into inspiration. As Amber Rockliffe reports, Crystal MacLeod held a dream wedding contest and announced the winners on Valentine’s Day.

SASKATOON – Cody Smuk and Stephanie Vause found out they won the Dream Wedding Contest on Valentine’s Day in Saskatoon. When the former University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Huskies hockey player met Vause, he was smitten.

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“He was persistent and never gave up, and that’s the kind of guy he is and here we are, and we’re happier than ever,” explained Vause, who competed on the U of S track and field team.

But the couple’s plans for a dream wedding were put on hold. Last May, Smuk was taken to hospital after a coughing fit and the visit changed his life.

“I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in a mass in my lung. I had surgery first and then did chemo treatment,” he explained.

Smuk has to go through 43 weeks of chemotherapy.

“It was a big shock to us, but it’s just made us stronger,” he explained.

READ MORE: Tragic love story inspires dream wedding giveaway

In a show of love and support, friends of the couple entered them in the contest, which was organized by Crystal MacLeod with RSVP Event Design.

Macleod started the contest after her fiancé died of cancer. She planned her wedding in just two months at his bedside.

“It was incredibly hard, there were around 176 entries, so we really devoted a lot of time to going through the entries and giving them the attention they deserved,” MacLeod explained.

MacLeod said the whole community came together to make the contest happen.

“The overall theme that’s going on is just celebrating love stories,” MacLeod said.

“I wanted to give back to a couple that was going through a difficult time, that wanted to have that dream wedding, but for whatever reasons were struggling.”

The total wedding package won is valued at $28,000; however, MacLeod said more and more companies are pitching in and bumping up its value daily.

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