About two weeks after his wedding on Jan. 24, Donald Webb passed away at 65 years old.
His wedding was organized by the Long Beach State chapter of the Hospice DreamCatcher Foundation and primarily organized by gerontology graduate student Amanda Jane Paiz, president of the chapter. Don, as his family and friends called him, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer three years ago.
“[Organizing the wedding] was really not much effort, but the reward was intangible,” Paiz said.
Paiz said she was informed of his passing by Alva Webb, Don’s wife, a few days later. Alva said he died at sunset on Feb. 9, which she thought was symbolic as Don was born at sunrise on Nov. 15.
“I was grateful that she took the time to reach out to us after his death,” Paiz said. “It stuck a little string in my eyes and I got teary eyed.”
Paiz said that after the touching wedding speeches and love that was shared between the family, Donald had to leave pretty quickly. She checked back in a few days later, and Alva said he hadn’t been able to stand since the wedding and his health was declining pretty quickly.
The biggest takeaway, Paiz said, was that the family was able to build some lasting and happy memories of Don.
“I made an impact on their lives and they made a huge impact on mine,” Paiz said.
CSULB’s chapter of the DreamCatchers is looking to grow so it can make more dreams happen for people like Don and Alva.
Don’s memorial will take place Friday, February 28, but is only open to his friends and family.