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Terminally Ill Woman Will Fulfill Her Bucket List Wish And Marry Her Dog For Charity

In the summer of 2017, Lilly Smartelli, 55 years old nurse from Michigan was diagnosed with a pulmonary diffusion defect that has likely left her with a year or two to live. Smartelli realized there was one thing she wanted: "a big Italian wedding." Now she is going to fulfiled that dream with her rescue dog, Bernie, with one aim in mind- collecting donations for animal rescues. Via: People Pets

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    When a doctor told Lilly Smartelli lung disease would cut her life short, she realized she may never have the big Italian wedding she always dreamed about.

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    While she traveled, worked as a nurse, and even donated a kidney to a friend, she never found the man of her dreams.


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    Then, she realized the man of her dreams wasn't actually a man at all! Her faithful companion, Bernie the resuce dog, was the only guy she knew she could always count on and who loved her unconditionally.

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     She started dreaming up fanciful wedding scenarios where Bernie stood in for the groom.


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    Her imaginative wedding visions inspired The $5 Dog Wedding project

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    This heartwarming book is about life, love, and true friendship. While the book wedding stories are imaginary, Lilly hopes Bernie will stand in as the groom in a real wedding celebration soon!


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    The animal lover first met her groom in October 2011 at a pet adoption event and was entranced by his eyes that were “so deep and philosophical looking.”

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    "I wasn't supposed to get a dog, but there was something about him that said, 'Please help me!' "


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    While Smartelli would like to have this wedding for herself, its main purpose would be to benefit others — specifically organ donors and animal rescue founders.

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