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Granting Wedding Wishes

A Marblehead native is hoping to get the word out about an organization that provides weddings and vow renewals for the terminally ill.

Anyone who has been married knows that planning a wedding can be a trying experience - but for the terminally ill, the stress associated with organizing the celebration can be too much to bear.

That's where Wish Upon a Wedding comes in. The non-profit organization's New England chapter, spearheaded by Marblehead native Drew Zang, provides "wedding wishes" and vow renewals to couples who are terminally ill and face severe financial circumstances.

"I decided to get involved with Wish Upon a Wedding because of a simple reason, the mission that we as an organization embark on is nothing like I have ever seen before," Zang said.

Zang, who graduated with 's Class of 2004, was recently named to the New England Chapter's Board of Directors and is hoping to get the word out to North Shore residents that Wish Upon a Wedding is ready to help qualifying couples.

"Our biggest challenge right now is finding couples so that we can grant them their wish," Zang said. "The New England Chapter has been around about 18 months and we are aggressively trying to grow awareness of our cause."

According to the nonprofit's website, dozens of couples in cities and towns across the country can thank Wish Upon a Wedding for making their "dream day" a reality, including Joanne Luti and Joseph Pitrowski, who were selected to receive Massachusetts' first Wedding Wish last summer.

In 2009, Joanne received the devastating news that she had stage 4 lung cancer and dealing with the illness left the pair unable to "find the means to have a true celebration of their love," according to the organization's website.

On the day their wish was granted, "a horse and carriage arrived at (Joanne's) home to whisk her away to meet Joe in a sweet little park in Nahant," according to this story on the Wish Upon a Wedding website.

The two were wed on July 28 at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline.

If you are interested in learning more about Wish Upon a Wedding or know a couple that would benefit from their services, email info@wishuponawedding.org

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