The marriage of one couple was filled with great joy and deep sadness as they said their vows today knowing that he only has weeks to live.
Sonia McClean, 56, married 57-year-old Malcolm Alleyne at the MJHS Hospice residence in the Bronx on Wednesday.
Mr Alleyne is dying of lung cancer while his new wife suffered brain trauma several years ago after being attacked.
The ceremony was witnessed by nursing staff who had decorated the hospice in white and blue flowers for the emotional day. The bride wore a white dress and carried a bouquet of lavender and white flowers down the aisle as she beamed at her bridegroom.
She wept as she said ‘we’re married’ to her new husband, who looked dapper in a black suit and blue shirt with a white rose in the lapel.
The wedding dress, veil and cake had all been donated by stores and friends of the couple who wanted to share in their happiness.
Mr Alleyne was diagnosed last April with the cancer which has spread to his brain. Miss McClean has been living with him at the hospice for the past six months.
It is not the first tragedy that has struck the new Mrs Alleyne, an Air Force veteran. Her first husband was murdered and she raised two daughters alone. She suffered a brain injury after being hit on the head at a center for disabled young people.
The couple met five years ago when she moved into Mr Alleyne’s apartment block in Queens. He described his relationship with her as ‘instantaneous’.
Mrs Alleyne told the New York Daily News: ‘Me and Malcolm had a good life together. I shouldn’t say we ”had” – we have a good life together. I’m gonna miss him.’