A photographer is on a mission to help her friend experience the magical feeling of being a bride, before it’s too late.
Netis Negron, a single mom to three sons, has had breast cancer for seven years. A strong survivor all this time, she recently was dealt the news that her cancer has increased in activity, spreading to her bones and becoming more aggressive than ever.
“There’s no cure,” Negron, 36, of Avondale, Arizona, told ABC News. “But I’m very positive and have a lot of faith. I want to live with chemo forever, because as long as I’m living that’s good enough for me, for my boys.”
Unsure of how much time she realistically has left though, there is one thing she’s really hoping to be able to share with her sons, ages 16, 11 and 9, while she still can.
“If I’m not around for their weddings and their mother-son dances, then at least they’ll have these amazing pictures,” Negron said of her idea for a wedding-themed photo shoot. “When you start thinking about that stuff, that’s when it gets really hard.”
Never having been married, Negron has never had the opportunity to play dress up and feel like a princess wearing a wedding gown, nor has she been able to share that type of celebration with her boys, which she knows would be special for them.
But Laura Gordillo is hoping to change that.
“She was telling me about this idea she had, and it just melted my heart and I got teary eyed,” Gordillo, of Goodyear, Arizona, said. “I remember my wedding day, and she may not get to go through that.”
What first started as Negron’s simple idea to get some beautiful photos of herself trying on wedding gowns has now snowballed into a full-fledged effort to get the whole family involved in a wedding-themed photo shoot equipped with tuxedos for the boys, a dress for the “bride,” flowers and a venue.
“You either go big or you go home,” Gordillo said of wanting to up the ante. “I wanted her to feel special and feel like a queen for a day.”
“She wanted me to have the full experience,” Negron added. “It just took on a life of its own. I’ve seen so many wonderful responses and different ideas coming in. Someone mentioned having my boys in tuxedos because they are the men in my life, which is so true. I’m married to them, basically.”
In order to pull off the elaborate plan, however, they’re reliant upon donations and generous offers from others willing to help make it happen.
“I’m really hoping for a great turnout,” said Gordillo. “I have a big vision and, hopefully, it’s able to happen. Netis is so optimistic. She’s so spiritual, and she definitely deserves this more than anybody.”
They’re racing against time, though.
Negron started a new chemotherapy treatment that will cause her to lose her hair within the next three to five weeks, something that, after having lost her hair twice before, she’s really hoping to avoid for the photos.
“Once you lose your hair you cherish it a lot more,” she said. “I’d prefer for my boys to have pictures of me not looking sick.”
For Negron, being able to pull off these wedding photos would mean “the world.”
“I’d be so overwhelmed and humbled and more than anything, so thankful that so many people would want to make something that is important to me and my kids come true,” she said. “We don’t know what the future holds. I’m going to keep fighting. But my kids are still young and weddings are still far off. These pictures will be a blessing for them to have later in life.”