The Seasons Hospice MacNeal Inpatient Center held a wedding today for 31-year-old hospice patient, Alfredo Garcia III.
Alfredo has been living with HIV for 8 years and earlier this year was diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Sadly, our hospice doctors believe Alfredo does not have more than a couple of days to a week left to live, which is why granting his wish to marry his partner of five years was something we had to do immediately.
Alfredo has been living with his partner, Erwin, for the past five years, during which Erwin has been his entire support system. Alfredo was born and raised in a Little Village by his grandparents. He was bullied and had a rough childhood. Alfredo hasn’t spoken to his grandparents in years, as they had a very difficult time when he came out as a gay man and chose to end their relationship with him. Though very sick, and without a support system, Alfredo always maintained a positive attitude, finding much joy interacting with the Chicago-area community through his work as a kitchen manager at McDonald’s.
Recognizing that his time on Earth is limited, Alfredo wanted to make a final commitment to the love of his life, Erwin.
This afternoon, our Seasons Hospice team surrounded Alfredo and Erwin with love, with our chaplain performing a wedding ceremony as our music therapist played their favorite tunes. We had champagne, catered in the couples’ favorite food and had the best wedding we could for this couple. It was a time of joy during a very difficult time in this couple’s life.
We hope this wedding ceremony will lift Alfredo’s spirits and give him the strength to hang on for a little while longer. Just a few days ago when our staff was planning the wedding, Alfredo told them how much he wanted to share his story in hopes that he will inspire others and give LGBTQ community members the courage to come out. Unfortunately, Alfredo’s health took a significant turn for the worse over the past 48 hours. so let’s all send our love for Alfredo, Erwin and the good people like April Dovorany (224-808-6696) of the Seasons Hospice.
Seasons Hospice, 6400 Shafer Court, Suite 700, Rosemont, IL 60018
Phone: (847) 692-1000