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Whirlwind wedding taking place for Calgary woman battling cancer

By Anna Brooks

Micah Repato has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is trying to do as much as she can, including having an early birthday and Christmas, as well as getting engaged to her boyfriend Peter. She was photographed with Peter on Sunday April 2, 2017. Gavin Young/Postmedia Network

You don’t often hear of a full-blown wedding taking place just one week after the proposal, but for 25-year-old cancer patient Micah Repato, options were limited.

After receiving the shocking news in January that his girlfriend was suffering from Stage 4 colon cancer, Peter Studnicka had one mission: marrying the woman he loves and supporting her through what’s been a quick and painful journey.

“When we were sitting at the hospital, I wanted to propose because I felt like time was running out,” Studnicka said. “People always wait for the perfect moment, but why hold it off when you can do it today?”

Repato said she met Studnicka two years ago when she first moved to Calgary from Montreal.

“He was my car salesman. He thought my dad was my husband and when he found out he was my dad, he started flirting with me,” she said with a laugh.

“Are you sure it wasn’t you doing the flirting?” he joked back.

Despite the shock of Repato’s diagnosis and her sudden decline in health, the couple is in good spirits. Carrying a delicate Repato — who only weighs 70 pounds due to rounds of chemotherapy that left her unable to eat or drink for weeks — up and down the stairs, Studnicka said he even tried fasting to support his ailing fiancee.

“Seeing someone you love have to go through that every day . . . it’s hard,” he said. “I just drank coffee and Red Bull for a few days, and then I cracked and started eating rice. But she’d always catch me.”

“He’d come and kiss me and I said, ‘I can smell food on you!’” Repato said with a laugh.

Previously working as a group co-ordinator at the Delta Hotel in Calgary, Repato started feeling sharp abdominal pains in December. After a few trips to the emergency room, New Year’s Day delivered tragic and unexpected news to the family: Repato had Stage 4 colon cancer.

“That’s when they said you only have two weeks to live,” Repato said. “The cancer had spread everywhere.”

Despite Repato’s grim prognosis, she survived the two weeks. Three months later, Repato is back at her family home and is slowly getting back to eating and drinking with the help of medication and a nightly injection.

“I’m exhausted every day, but I’m gaining a bit of my strength back,” she said. “I’m just really holding on to my faith. I pray every day, and am just hoping for a miracle.”

Learning of Repato’s situation, Calgary non-profit The Wishing Well Foundation threw her an early surprise birthday and Christmas celebration (Christmas is her favourite holiday) last week, which came a day after Studnicka’s proposal.

After a Greek-themed party complete with a glowing Christmas tree, live music and a house full of family flown in from Montreal, the foundation is now working on rapidly planning the couple’s wedding next week.

“It’s been such a roller-coaster, but the outpouring of support from people has given us the strength we need,” Studnicka said. “Micah and I are trying to seek out the positive aspects of what we’re going through, and we think anything’s possible.”

The family has started a GoFundMe for natural treatment for Repato, which costs up to $450 per session. For more information or to donate, please visit:

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