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Posted: May 29, 2015

Terminally ill couple marries in hospice

Debbie Rivera, 54, and John Whaley, 58, cut their cake surrounded by friends and family after their wedding ceremony in Green Cove Springs, Fla. on Saturday, May 23, 2015. Rivera and Whaley met while patients receiving hospice care and decided they wanted to be together for the rest of whatever time they have. The bride and groom are both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients, and the groom is a triple amputee, missing both legs and a hand due to his illness. (Bob Mack/The Florida Times-Union via AP)
Bob Mack
Debbie Rivera, 54, and John Whaley, 58, cut their cake surrounded by friends and family after their wedding ceremony in Green Cove Springs, Fla. on Saturday, May 23, 2015. Rivera and Whaley met while patients receiving hospice care and decided they wanted to be together for the rest of whatever time they have. The bride and groom are both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients, and the groom is a triple amputee, missing both legs and a hand due to his illness. (Bob Mack/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

By Zach Dennis

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

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Two terminally ill hospice care residents in Florida found true love and were able to celebrate it with a marriage ceremony.

Debbie Rivera, 54, and John Whaley, 58, are both suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Whaley, a triple-amputee, also has lung cancer. They met at hospice and fell in love.

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"We were both so tired of being alone and not having nobody except for family," Whaley said to ABCNews.com. "It makes me feel I got somebody here I can talk to and relate to."

Rivera was given away by her son, Scott, at the May 23 ceremony and Vitas Healthcare general manager Philip Slotin chipped in on decorations. The couple left hospice to spend their wedding night in Jacksonville.

"She looked beautiful," Whaley said to ABCNews. "My face was never so tired from smiling."

Read more at ABC News.

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