LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It's a story of true love, overcoming odds and some would say proof that miracles can happen.
An unusual sight at the Indiana State Fair stopped folks in their tracks this weekend. The playful tune of a calliope set the tone.
“We're enjoying ourselves, this is our favorite place! We love coming here,” Derek Fakehaney said.
The Indianapolis man was dressed in a suit and standing on the Midway. People stretched their necks for a second glance as they walked by. The music and atmosphere made even more special the moment taking place that held deep meaning beyond the obvious.
Derek and his bride, Amy Van Ostrand, were renewing their wedding vows.
The couple has called Indiana home for two decades but entered into this union 20 years ago in California.
In all transparency, I went to high school in a small Mojave Desert town with Amy but I had not met Derek until two years ago when their lives took an awful turn.
Doctors diagnosed Derek with an aggressive form of blood cancer and on 3 occasions they said their goodbyes.
But 20 months, two bone marrow transplants and scores of blood transfusions later they were here at their favorite place in the world renewing their wedding vows at the Indiana State Fair.
“Today is a huge day,” Derek exclaimed with a smile stretching across his face. “Between being over 200 days out from my bone marrow transplant, to being able to come back to the state fair and celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, it's just a fantastic day all around .”
They celebrated by treating the masses to Derek's favorite treat, funnel cake, and calling attention to blood donation and the national bone marrow donor registry hoping their story would move Hoosiers to give the gift to life.
“To have him alive today is incredible and to have him here at the State Fair with me is miraculous,” Amy said. “So today is one of those days where you want to savor every single moment of and never have end.”
It was a blue-ribbon day capped with a ride on the Ferris wheel, true love on display at the Indiana State Fair.
You can learn more about joining the national bone marrow registry by clicking here: https://bethematch.org/
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