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Couple facing daunting future receives gift of dream wedding

Published: Thursday, December 21, 2017 @ 9:18 AM
By: WPXI.com

Liz Stipkovits and her fiancé, James Garish, are busy planning a wedding for February

“I knew immediately when I laid eyes on her, that's who I was going to be with,” Garish said.

They met when James was 5 years old.

About 22 years later, James got enough courage to reach out to Liz while he was deployed in Iraq.

The McKeesport couple has been together now for eight years.

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“He has been my rock,” Stipkovits said. “He's been my rock. I got sick in 2013.”

Liz battled breast cancer and went into remission for two years, but it came back a second time. Just when she thought it was gone again, only two months later, it came back for round three. 

“He grabbed ahold of my hand and basically said, ‘We're in this together, we got this, we'll beat this and whatever you need, I'm here for you,’” she said.

The cancer has now moved to other parts of her body. 

“Time is of the essence for her,” Jamie Holmes, of Jamie’s Dream Team, said.

Thanks to a nomination from Lori McKown, a social worker at Jefferson Hospital, Holmes and the non-profit are going to give the couple the wedding of their dreams.

“Something happy, no more doom and gloom,” Garish said. “A break from all the medical stuff.”
“I need that to level out for a minute,” Stipkovits said.

After he returned from serving in the military, Garish donated his first paycheck to Jamie's Dream Team to help provide a fishing trip for a little boy.

Now, the couple has set Feb. 17 as their wedding date, and Jamie's Dream Team is looking for help with everything from a dress to flowers to a venue, all with the hopes of fulfilling the Christmas wish for the very deserving couple. 

“It feels great,” Garish said. “I'm very thankful to Jamie for helping us out.”