Madisonville bride marries high school sweetheart despite cancer diagnosis


MADISONVILLE (WATE) – Two words are meaning so much to a Madisonville couple: “I do.” They recently exchanged vows and so the pictures, rings and time they’re spending together are being cherished because time is of the essence.

The young bride was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer one year ago. Just weeks ago, her diagnosis took a devastating turn. Doctors told the couple she only had days to live.

The Magers met in middle school and once they graduated from high school, their relationship blossomed. They’ve been together for 10 years and have two children. They say a big wedding has been something they’ve always wanted, but financially it just couldn’t happen.

“I ask God every day, why,” said Matthew Mager.

Lately it seems he and his wife, Ronda Mager, have more prayers of thanksgiving.

“Being married, it’s a good feeling. Makes me smile just thinking about it even with all the pain,” he said.

The Magers have framed photos of their wedding day and a cell phone video they keep watching. In it, the pastor tells the couple the rings are a symbol of a marriage neverending because the ring is neverending.

Ronda Mager is fighting epithelioid sarcoma, which is a rare and terminal cancer. Three weeks ago they received the devastating news at Vanderbilt that she had just days to live.

“I brought her home and I fulfilled what I promised to her was that we’re getting married,” said Matthew Mager.

The vows they exchanged touched both of their hearts. While overwhelmed they were able to say, “I do.”

“I fell in love with her eyes. Her eyes are just unbelievable,” added Matthew Mager.

Days later, the family is praying for a miracle but at the same time, they’re grateful and relying on their faith as they hold each other close.

“If it’s a week, a year, or the rest of her life, I’m thankful for that time,” said Matthew Mager.

Ronda Mager said she wanted to share this story in case there were others who may have cancer, no matter what kind. She wants people to not be afraid to go to the doctor, ask for second opinions, and she hopes to raise awareness for research.

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