Man finds happiness out of terminal illness

By Jessica Bowman - email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - He serves in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, he is an aspiring photographer, a son and a fiance. By the look of it, you would never know 26-year-old Justin Parker has been battling a deadly disease for more than a year.

"In 2008, I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and then I had open chest surgery to have a very large massive tumor removed from my chest," Parker said.

Parker was at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas last Thursday for a check up when doctors discovered the tumor wasn't shrinking as expected. While there numerous spots were found on his liver and pelvis. Doctors told Parker treatment must start immediately, but decided to let him spend Christmas with his family.

His girlfriend Alisa Feazell said, "Amongst the bad news we have good news. We're excited."

On the ride home, after receiving this devastating news, Justin and Alisa decided they wanted to get married. In less than a week, the couple will begin a new chapter in their lives together.

"I'm definitely excited considering I'm fighting cancer," Parker said. "The wedding and everyone helping, it's just taking my mind off it. And there's just days I forget I even have cancer."

"I'm really excited to be his wife. We've talked about it for a while," Feazell said.

Thanks to generous donations from family, friends and the community, the wedding plans continue to exceed the couple's dreams day after day.

"My mother donated a wedding ring that was an heirloom, and we even had a perfect stranger donate the wine for our wedding," Parker said. "It just keeps getting bigger and bigger."

The couple will tie the knot the day after Christmas at the First Presbyterian Church in Ocean Springs. Many services and items have been donated to help the couple out with the expenses. If you would like to help, call (228) 217-1338.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.