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First wedding in Gundersen Healing Garden

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Peggy Oesterle was diagnosed with cancer three years ago. At the age of 56, she underwent radiation and chemotherapy and went into remission.

Unfortunately, during one of her follow up visits, doctors found a recurrence of her cancer.

She had surgery to remove the recurring cancer but it came back, this time, more aggressive then before.

Dr. Dana Benden, the OBGYN Department Chair, said, "Her main goal was to get to June and be healthy and happy for her son's wedding."

In March, doctors told the family that Peggy didn't have much time left. So Chris, Peggy's son, and his fiancee, Jamie decided to move the wedding up.

Chris Schroeder said, "One of the Sisters gave us the option of doing it in the Healing Garden or the Chapel, we both looked at each and said Healing Garden."

Fifty of their family and friends gathered in the Healing Garden and while no one had planned to be at a wedding on a Friday morning in a hospital, they all came together for Peggy, Chris and Jamie.

Peggy had undergone emergency surgery just two days before the ceremony and her condition was decreasing.

Chris said that "When we got there Friday morning it was a Godsend, she was up, talking as best she could. It meant everything, you know that's my only mom."

After the ceremony, Peggy slept most of the weekend. She passed away that Monday.

"It's almost like it was meant to be, with the new hospital opening up and having the Healing Garden there, " Chris said.

This was the first wedding in the new Healing Garden.

Jamie and Chris plan to have a traditional wedding ceremony in June.


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